Sunday, February 03, 2013

Sabah targets three million tourists for 2013

KOTA KINABALU: Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit is confident Sabah will emerge as a champion of marine tourism.

He said last year alone the number of tourists was 2.88 million, an increase of 1.1 per cent as compared to year 2010 which saw an arrival of 2.84 million tourists.

James is confident that Sabah will hit the three-million-tourist arrival mark this year based on the previous increase in number of tourist arrivals.

Sabah has 131 international flights with 19,294 seats and 660 domestic flights with 85,976 seats per week, he said.

“Kota Kinabalu has an excellent geographical location which is suitable as a destination for sea cruises in Asia. Last year 18 sea cruises with a total of 12,707 passengers visited Sabah through the Kota Kinabalu Port,” James said while giving a speech in conjunction with the “KK City Day Sunset Sea Parade 2013” to celebrate the city’s 13th anniversary at Jesselton Point here yesterday.

Also present were Assistant Minister of Sabah Tourism, Culture & Environment Datuk Bolkiah Ismail, Mayor Datuk Abidin Madingkir, City Hall director-general Datuk Yeo Boon Hai, representatives from Korea and Indonesia (Yogjakarta), and Putatan MP Datuk Marcus Mojigoh.

James said that Sabahans should be proud as the State is blessed with beautiful beaches, scenic mountains and world-class islands.

“Besides that, its various ethnic groups, food and culture make Sabah a very unique state within the federation of Malaysia,” he said.

The Deputy Tourism Minister also commended the media for positively contributing to the State’s tourism industry.

James said the tourists around the world are attracted to coastal cities with their enchanting sunsets such as the one found in Kota Kinabalu.

“Of all the places I have been to, Kota Kinabalu is one of the best to enjoy a scenic sunset,” he said.

“We are here at Jesselton Point (one of the most popular places among the locals) to witness an interesting event in conjunction of the city’s anniversary,” James said.

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