Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Nearly 1mil visitors to Sabah in the first 7 months

Sandakan: Sabah chalked up an 8.3 per cent increase in tourism influx during the first seven months this year, compared with the same period last year.

Disclosing this here, Sabah Tourism Board (Sabah Tourism) Deputy Chairman, Datuk Sari Suhut, said the State recorded 996,658 tourists during the period. Of the number, 334,676 were foreign tourists while the rest were domestic.

He said this at the opening of a Mesra Malaysia & Eco-Host tourism human resource training workshop by Sandakan Municipal Council President, Yeo Boon Hai, at the Rainforest Discovery Centre, Sepilok, here, Monday.

He pointed out that 1.8 million tourists visited Sabah last year alone, generating RM2.2 billion in revenue.

Sari described the workshop as timely, in preparations for the country's Visit Malaysia Year 2007 campaign themed "Malaysia Welcomes the World."

The workshop is aimed at preparing the local tourism players to be well versed in all aspects of tourism, including places of attractions and general awareness of environmental conservation.

In this respect, the frontliners have an important role to play through friendly services for both foreign and domestic tourists alike, he said.

They had to create a first impression of the places to be frequented by the tourists for a lasting effect of the industry.

Citing an example, Sari said Bali and Phuket Island had continued to lure foreign tourists despite being badly affected by bombs and tsunami, respectively, due to the excellent services being provided to the visitors.

On another note, Sari urged Malaysia Airlines (MAS) to reconsider its decision on flight reduction to Sandakan that had caused adverse effects on the local tourism industry.

Source: Daily Express

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