Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christina Liew recently indicated to local media that the Malaysian State located on Borneo Island is on track to achieve its 3.85 million tourist arrivals this year.
The Tourism Minister for the State of Sabah in East Malaysia indicated that the region has so far received 1.891 million tourists until the end of July.
“This is a 5.3 per cent increase compared to the same period last year. I believe we are on track to achieve the 3.85 million target,” said Liew during a press conference at the State Assembly building today.
“I’m very proud to present these figures as it shows Sabah is getting more popular as a tourist destination,” she said.
“As of July 2018, there are around 200 chartered flights scheduled to come to Sabah, right up to March next year. These are mostly from second-tier Chinese cities, and some 72 from South Korea.
“Additionally, there are some new direct routes coming into the state, from Bangkok, Bandar Sri Begawan, Macau and Shenzhou later in the year,” she said.
Liew said that the flourishing tourism was a good opportunity for the state to leverage on its lesser-known east coast and spread the influx of tourists.
“First we have to develop new features for tourism products. We recently visited the Kinabalu Park and Poring Hot Springs and we will continue to go to different parts of Sabah,” she said.
The ministry is proposing an upgrade to the latter, by building high-end accommodation in the hot springs in Ranau which can help bring in more foreign tourists.
“We also want to use this opportunity to spread the influx to the east coast. The current number of rooms on the west coast cannot carry the influx. If all incoming tourists are concentrated on the west coast, there may not be enough hotel rooms. So are we are looking at launching tourism packages for Tawau,” said the tourism minister, who is also Tawau MP.
(Source: the Malay Mail)