The Sabah state government is heading in the right direction in promoting Sabah as a safe travel destination, despite the negative perception among foreign and domestic tourists due to a number of incidents involving kidnappings and intruders.
Assistant Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Kamarlin Ombi said the creation of the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) showed that safety and well-being was the top priority of the government in the state, and was believed to further boost the confidence of tourists and tourism players.
“I must say that 2015 is a very challenging year for Sabah, especially with the drop in tourist arrivals to Sabah in 2014. The state recorded 3.065 million arrivals last year, a slight drop compared to 3.3 million previously.
“However, we believe the industry will be back on track because we have a number of promotional events local and internationally, which had received positive feedback. Bookings to the islands are also increasing, and hopefully it will keep increasing.
“Since the domestic visitors are also contributing to the increase of our industry, we are looking forward to work hand-in-hand with the other travel operators throughout the country to sell Sabah. Johor is one of the most important prospects for Sabah since we have direct flights connecting Johor Bahru and Kota Kinabalu. Furthermore, Johor is also the gateway for the Singaporeans,” he said.
Kamarlin said this to the media after the Sabah Destination presentation and Travel Mart at the Mutiara Hotel here yesterday.
A total of 22 travel agents participated in the event which was attended by some 70 representatives from travel players in Johor and Singapore.
Continue reading at: Sabah tourism push in Johor.