Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Forget 'business as usual', Sabah tourism players told

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah tourism players who adopt a ‘business as usual’ approach stand to lose out, given the emergence of online players in the industry.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said the state’s tourism players should instead evolve and embrace online engagement, particularly social media in terms of marketing and promotions.

He said that while Sabah recorded an increase a 7.5 increase (3.68 million people) in tourist arrivals last year, there is no guarantee the performance will be matched in the future if the tourism players do not become more competitive.

He cited the example of the Sabah Tourism Board (STB), which has embraced digitalisation since 2009. STB began their online foray with Facebook and Twitter and now have an established presence on Instagram, YouTube, Weibo and WeChat, with the latter two specifically targeted at the Chinese market.

“STB is also starting to use WhatsApp for promotions and has been working with social media influencers by bringing them to experience Sabah through their postings,” he told audience at the Digital Tourism Workshop, held here today.