Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Sabah tourism industry looking good

KOTA KINABALU: The growth of Sabah’s tourism sector in January to February this year is indicative of better things to come, said state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun.

He said that overall tourist arrivals to Sabah in the first two months of the year showed an 8.3% increase compared to the same period last year.

“International visitor arrivals recorded a double-digit growth of 21.6% compared to the January to February period in 2015 and in February we received 54 chartered flights from China alone.

The highest source of overseas tourists came from China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan which account for 57.9% or 115,092 of total foreign arrivals compared to previous years, he said in his speech at the opening of the Sabah Matta Fair 2016, here on Friday.

Masidi also said his ministry would strive to bring in more airlines and chartered flights to Sabah and urged stakeholders to develop new tourism products and services, and continue improving products and facilities quality in ensuring sustainable tourism.

A total of 48 exhibitors exhibited their products, tour and travel packages with 97 booths set up at this year’s Matta Fair held from May 6 to 8 at Suria Sabah mall in the city centre.

Sabah Matta Chapter chairman Robert Chong said earlier that the US Embassy and SilkAir participated for the first time this year with last year’s exhibitors including Royal Brunei Airlines, Indonesian Tourism and Taiwan Tourism returning in the current edition.

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