Sunday, October 27, 2013

Chinese tourists to Sabah prefer accommodation in resorts

KOTA KINABALU: Tourism investors should look into building resorts in the West Coast to cater for the significant increase of Chinese tourists.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun said the State needs some 5,000 more rooms.

“We know what the Chinese (tourists) wants. They prefer to stay in seaside resorts where they are near the beach and islands.

“That’s why they don’t go to Sandakan where the hotels are not enjoying high occupancy,” said Masidi when launching a two-day 16th Sabah Hospitality Fiesta at City Mall here yesterday.

Masidi urged investors to do their groundwork and homework well before embarking on hotel building.

However, all is not lost in efforts to attract more Chinese tourists to Sandakan as the State Government is looking into the matter.

“I have sought the help from Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman to develop Pulau Berhala.

“The Chinese tourists are rich and they don’t like to spend their holidays in the jungles unlike the Europeans who already gone through the process of urbanization. And they like the jungles that is why 80 per cent of the visitors recorded in Kinabatangan are Europeans,” said Masidi.

Masidi also commended the five-star hotels in Sabah for taking heed of his call to provide Mandarin signages and translations in their information.

“This showed that the hotels are responsive to the changing of circumstances as a big chunk of our visitors nowadays are from China,” he added.

He also encouraged tourism players to take advantage of the RM2 billion Special Tourism Fund announced by the Prime Minister on Budget Day.