Sunday, July 7, 2013

The growth of tourism industry was a positive indicator of business growth in state

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is aiming for at least 3 million visitor arrivals this year with tourism receipts of RM5.178 billion. As of May this year, the total arrivals are already 1,164,450 after discounting the Indonesian and Philippines migrant workers.

Deputy Chief Minister cum State Industrial Development Raymond Tan Shu Kiah said that the growth of tourism industry was a positive indicator of business growth in state.

“Therefore, I am applauding that all stakeholders should play their own roles in raising the standard of services to boost tourist arrivals in state,” he said at the opening the three-day Malaysian Associations of Tour and Travel Agents Association (Matta) Travel Fair here on Friday.

Tan elaborated that the government had always played its part in ensuring the safety of tourists while they were in the state, especially after the recent Lahad Datu armed intrusion. To boost security, Tan said the government had set up the Esszone and Esscom at the East Coast areas.

“It is of course we cannot ensure that each traveller is guarded, but we assure that those tourist attraction places are safe to go to,” he said.

“We hope that foreign countries could lift negative advisories on our state and provide fair updated information for their citizens.”

Also present at the Fair was Matta Sabah Chapter chairman KL Tan who also thanked Sabah Tourism Board for helping the association to disseminate information for other counterparts via various means including engagement of the media people.

“We are also looking forward for more direct international flights and increase in frequency of direct and chartered flights. As more than 90 per cent of visitors come here by air, this mode of transport is vital in ensuring the continuity of tourist arrivals to the state,” he added.

As of now, there are 139 weekly direct flights from international destinations and 404 weekly flights from within Malaysia. On the Matta Fair, the chairman revealed that the number of participating booths was doubled than last year. There are about 120 booths from 32 travel agents, airlines and other related agencies.

“We are expecting sales of at least RM20million from expected visitors of 25,000 during the Fair,” he added.

The fair which is on-going at Suria Sabah Shopping mall offers various types of travel packages which include discounted airfares of various destinations and cruises trips. Visitors also stand the chance to win 42 lucky draws from 11 sponsors.



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