Friday, March 27, 2015

Sabah attracting South Korean visitors

Sabah has become one of the favourite tourism destinations for South Koreans.

In the first nine months of 2014, a total of 90,225 tourists from South Korea traveled to Sabah. This is in contrast with the 106,203 who visited the state throughout 2013.

The number of holidaymakers from South Korea is expected to increase in 2015 through various efforts taken by Tourism Malaysia, which includes a collaboration with South Korean low-cost carrier Jin Air.


Jin Air is promoting Malaysia for a period of three months, and is expected to fly 15,738 passengers on 86 chartered flights to Malaysia until March 29.

“We are expecting some 380,000 South Koreans to visit Malaysia annually, particularly to Sabah,” said Tourism Malaysia deputy director-general Datuk Azizan Noordin.

Jin Air’s maiden flight from Incheon, South Korea to Kota Kinabalu last December carried 183 passengers and crew on a Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

The airline offers seven flights a week during peak season and four flights a week during periods of low demand.

Azizan said the collaboration presented a win-win situation for both parties and if responses were good, the airline would continue offering direct flights to Malaysia.


Sabah’s magnificent and unique islands like Pulau Manukan and Pulau Sipadan are popular destinations among South Koreans who are looking to escape their country’s winter.

They are also drawn to the culture, local tradition and tourist facilities offered by the state.

“Kota Kinabalu is a renowned tourist destination and we want South Koreans to come here and enjoy the hotels, resorts and other facilities available,” said Jin Air vice-president Kwang Lee.

Kwang said they welcomed the collaboration to introduce the Koreans to Sabah and its plethora of attractions, such as Mount Kinabalu.