Monday, July 06, 2009

Sabah hopes for visitors from peninsula, Sarawak to offset drop in tourists


KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is banking on visitors from the peninsula and Sarawak to offset an expected further decline in the number of international tourists to the state due to the economic crisis and the A(H1N1) flu.

International arrivals to Sabah had dropped by 3% between January and March compared to the same period in 2008, said state tourism, culture and environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjum.

“We are bracing for a further decline in the second quarter as the full impact of the A (H1N1) flu takes effect,” he said when contacted recently.

According to Sabah Tourism statistics, Sabah received 552,222 tourists between January and March 2008. Of this, 193,981 were international visitors while the remainder were Malaysians.

While there was a drop in international arrivals, Masidi said the number of locals visiting Sabah this year had increased slightly by about 1%.

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