Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sabah eyes more domestic tourists

The Sabah government is committed in its efforts to introduce Sabah as a tourism destination not only to foreign visitors but also to domestic tourists.

Assistant Minister of Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Kamarlin Ombi, said the domestic market is important for Sabah especially with the approximately 64 percent of domestic tourist arrivals to the state recorded last year.

“In 2015, 2.19 million domestic tourists arrived in Sabah, while this year, as of May 2016 we recorded 882,109 domestic tourist arrivals, about 0.6 percent decrease compared to the same period last year.

“However, tourist from China and Korea increased tremendously due to the increased numbers of chartered flights to Sabah.

“We, in the ministry, will continue with our efforts to restore the confidence of tourists coming to Sabah after the spate of kidnapping incidents which had badly affected the industry,” he said in his speech at ‘The Sabah Destination Presentation and Mini Travel Mart’ at the Grand Riverview Hotel here yesterday.

Twenty-two travel agents from Sabah, led by Kamarlin, will be presenting tourism products to their counterparts from not only Kelantan but also Terengganu and Thailand.

“We are hoping this event will give us the chance to discuss ideal packages to promote Sabah, and at the same time become a platform to channel the latest information on the tourism industry,” he said.

Also present at the event were State director of Tourism Malaysia Kelantan, Hafiz Hazin, and director of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia, Kelantan office, Mohd Aidil Afzie Daud.

Mohd Aidil, at a press conference, said that the opportunity to promote Sabah as a tourism destination to tourists from the southern part of Thailand is there, in view of the stronger currency of the Baht compared to the Ringgit.

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