Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Sabah keen on attracting US tourists

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is eyeing the American market to boost the tourism sector following a big drop in visitor arrivals from China.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said an a tourism promotion team would be heading to Oregon, United States in September.

He said Oregon had been picked as the new market destination following United States Ambassador Joseph Vun’s invitation to visit his home state.

Launching a travel fair here recently, Masidi said there was also an initiative to forge a sister-city pact between Kota Kinabalu and the state capital of Portland.

He said it was unlikely there would be a surge in the number of Americans coming to Sabah after the promotion, adding the visit was more about creating awareness about state as a premier eco-tourism destination.

He said distance was one of the factors in getting Americans to visit Sabah as it would take up to 25 hours by flight from San Francisco to Kota Kinabalu.

Masidi expressed confidence that Sabah’s tourism sector is still resilient.

“Although the number of tourists arrivals from China has dropped by almost half, the arrivals from other countries, particularly from South Korea, has increased.

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