KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is confident it will achieve its target of 2.93 million tourist arrivals this year despite facing various challenges, particularly the flight rationalisation exercise carried out by Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd.
Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said his ministry would further enhance its promotional efforts in markets that offer direct flights to Sabah such as South Korea and China.
“My ministry will also continue to cooperate and provide support to other airline companies to encourage them to increase their flights or provide special charter services to Sabah.
“My ministry, through the Sabah Tourism Board, has also taken special measures via the Aviation Hub Strategy and identified five main regional airports that offer direct flights to Kota Kinabalu as the go-between airports, namely in Kuala Lumpur, Bandar Seri Begawan, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea,” he said when winding up his ministry’s debate at the Sabah State Legislative Assembly yesterday. — Bernama
Masidi also said with the absence of a direct flight between Tokyo and Kota Kinabalu, the STB had placed Hong Kong, Singapore dan Seoul as the alternative route to Kota Kinabalu. Through close cooperation with three main tourist agencies in Japan, namely H.I.S. Travel, Japan Travel Bureau and SMI Holidays, it expects to market Sabah in the Japanese market using the Cathay Pacific.
For the Australian market, he said STB had drafted a special promotional plan together with the Singapore Airlines and promoted the special flight packages to Singapore and Kota Kinabalu during a recent exhibition in Perth.
He said the efforts had proved to be positive with the rise in the number of packages ordered.— Bernama