KOTA KINABALU: The city has great potential to become one of Asia’s shopping haven with its new premier shopping mall said Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun.
Masidi added that Sabah is quickly making a name for itself as a shopping destination like Kuala Lumpur, especially among tourists from China, the Philippines, Indonesia and Brunei.
“As of October last year, more than 114,000 tourists from China came to Sabah as well as Kuala Lumpur to shop,” he said at the official launch of the Suria Sabah Shopping Mall here by Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin.
Also present was Juhar’s wife, Toh Puan Norlidah RM Jasni.
Masidi suggested three pre-requisites for mall operators to achieve success, namely increased safety to prevent crime, improved toilet cleanliness as well as pleasant staff and sales assistants.
He said the shopping mall was a catalyst for the state’s tourism industry.
The RM330mil shopping mall has become the first stop for residents and tourists since it opened its doors to the public at the end of 2009.
On the action by Malaysia Airlines to suspend four routes involving the Sabah regional network this year, Masidi said tourist arrivals in the state would be unaffected despite the reduced flights.
He said the state government would carry out various proactive measures to ensure that Sabah remains a major tourist destination. - Bernama.