Kota Kinabalu, 18 March 2019: Last year, 73% out of an estimated 128,000 international arrivals to islands and dive resorts in Sabah were visitors from China and the number is growing, according to Sabah Tourism Board (STB) today. STB is working on diversifying the Chinese market by emphasizing the marine conservation efforts in Lankayan Island by partnering with Guangzhou Asian World International Travel, a China tour agent which specializes in diving.
Guangzhou Asian World International Travel has taken the initiative to bring 8 Chinese media from various magazines, TV Channels, and online media on a week-long tour to Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan. The media spent four days in Lankayan Dive Resort for the sea turtle conservation and adoption program carried out in the resort. The agent is the first international travel agent to organize such program in Lankayan Dive Resort.
Through the Reef Guardian’s sea turtle nest adoption program, a total of 365 sea turtle nests were adopted last year at the Sugud Island Marine Protected Area (SIMCA).
“Chinese visitors remain the majority of international tourist arrivals to Sabah last year with an increase of 37.7% compared to the year 2017 and Sabah is becoming a favourite diving destination among Chinese divers. Dive resorts and travel agents in Sabah are very supportive in organizing marine conservation program as an exercise to spread this important issue. We are happy with the efforts and supports by Guangzhou Asian World International Travel towards raising the awareness about marine conservation in their tourism product to Sabah. The successful result from their previous efforts means there is a growing awareness from the Chinese visitors about marine conservation.” says Mr. Ken Pan Ying On, Chairman of Sabah Tourism Board (STB).
In the past, Guangzhou Asian World International Travel has organized marine environmental protection programs such as ‘Semporna Ocean Day’ and Turtle nest adoption program to its customers. A tour to Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre was also included as part of their trip to Sabah.