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Sabah records RM3.36 billion in tourism receipts

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah recorded an estimated RM3.36 billion in tourism receipts in the first five months of this year, says Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Christina Liew.

There were 1.54 million tourist arrivals, an increase of 3.2 per cent compared with the same period last year.

“However, in view of the global economic situation and the challenges ahead, we need to be cautiously optimistic in our forecast,” she said at the launch of the Malaysian Association of Tour & Travel Agents (Matta) Fair Sabah 2018.

“The ministry will try to bring more airlines and chartered flights to Sabah.

“I urge (tourism players) to develop new tourism products, and continue to improve existing products and facilities to ensure sustainable tourism and maintain Sabah as a key tourist destination.”

Liew said Matta and the Sabah Tourism Board recently released 30 Visit to Tawau Packages to draw more visitors to the state’s east coast to ease congestion in the west coast.

Matta president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said 60,000 visitors were expected at the 8th edition of the travel fair in Sabah.

He said the three-day fair, which began today, was expected to generate RM45 million in sales.

“At next year’s national Matta fair in Kuala Lumpur, we will have the slogan, ‘Sabah is the preferred domestic destination’. There will be more exhibitors to promote Sabah,” said Tan.

“We will invite Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal. It is expected to attract 120,000 visitors and generate RM220 million,” he added.

Present were Matta Sabah Chapter chairman Lawrence Chin and state Tourism, Art and Culture director Awang Ahmad Zaki.

Source: New Straits Times | Jul 27, 2018