Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Sabah Govt committed to develop tourism sector

KOTA KINABALU: Tourism will continue to feature as part of Sabah’s economic development, said  Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman.

Speaking  at the launch of the opening of Mercure Hotel yesterday, Musa said with Sabah’s strong presence in the global tourism market, the government remained committed in further developing the sector along with private entities.

The Chief Minister also said Sabah had a variety of tourism products that could cater to the needs of tourists, from nature destinations to rich cultural heritage, a diversity of food and shopping options.

He added that the state government was also taking steps to ensure that the state’s eco-tourism products remained sustainable and would continue to attract travellers.

“We do this by focusing on sustainable and targeted development and with this, areas of natural heritage are continuously protected,” he said.

Musa also said Sabah was seeing a rise in interest among airlines to offer direct flights from regional destinations into the Kota Kinabalu International Airport, due to strong market support and the availability of both hotels and quality services.

“Just recently, Malaysian Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai was quoted as saying that there had been an increase in the number of tourist arrivals at Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA). Visitor arrivals at KKIA between January and August stood at 5.3 million compared to 4.7 million in the same period last year, and this is an impressive growth,” he said.

He added that the state government welcomed the minister’s statement that the Transport Ministry was prepared to engage more airlines to use KKIA to fly in more tourists to Sabah.