Wednesday, August 30, 2017

More skilled manpower needed to boost tourism industry in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: Despite the fact that Sabah is experiencing positive growth through flow of investments, enhanced economic cooperation and improved trade relations, the increase in the number of hotel rooms is still insufficient to meet the ever increasing tourist arrivals in the State, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman.

“We are still short of hotel rooms, especially in Kota Kinabalu,” Musa said.

He said the number of tourist arrivals for the first half of this year was about 1.8 million, a growth rate of 11 percent compared to the same period last year.

Last year, he said Sabah tourism received tourists to the tune of 3.4 million.

Musa said he had met a leader from mainland China on one occasion, who had wanted to bring in 10,000 people to Kota Kinabalu.

“I say, cannot. If 10,000 (tourists) at one time, there is not enough rooms in hotels and resorts. So I asked him to come in phases, maybe 3,000 people (at one time). So you can see how many people want to come to Sabah.

“We need more hotels and resorts, and of course, skilled manpower. That is what ATI College is providing now,” Musa said, when gracing the 20th convocation ceremony of the college here yesterday.

Earlier in his speech, Musa said the hospitality and tourism industry was a key income generating sector for Sabah.