Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bring back identity as honest, friendly people for Sabah Tourism

KOTA KINABALU: There is a need to bring back Sabah’s identity as having ‘friendly and honest people’ especially in the tourism industry, said Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Masidi Manjun.

After seeing a rise in overall complaints from visitors and tourists who came to Sabah, the minister said Sabah must maintain its identity as having honest and friendly people to remain competitive in the tourism industry.

“There has been a rise in the number of complaints I received personally and the complaints forwarded to the various relevant agencies and departments.

“Although the number is not alarming, it does show that something needs to be done in order for Sabah to remain a highly desired destination for tourism,” he said.

Masidi said this while speaking during an industrial dialogue between the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) and Tourism Ministry on the need for both the government and the private sector to recognize the importance of continued collaboration to achieve common goals and aspiration consistent with industry benchmarks.

According to Masidi, there had been many complaints that tour agents or related tourism companies had made empty promises to their customers, especially those from abroad.

“It saddens me to say this, but this is a fact. Maybe greed has caused this downfall of our identity – promising things that cannot be delivered is a very bad thing to do. I am not here to humiliate or scold but to remind everyone about the importance of honesty. Many tourists have complained that they have paid good money for the many things promised to them by tour agents, but were never delivered,” he said.

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