KOTA KINABALU: Several main events in Sabah such as the Borneo Marathon, Sabah Fest and Kaamatan festival are listed in the Visit Malaysia Year 2020 (VMY2020) event calendar to attract more tourists to this state.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew (pic), who is also state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, said the event calendar was published by the federal Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry.
She said this in response to the question by Datuk Abidin Madingkir (Upko-Paginatan) on plans by Liew’s ministry to leverage on VMY2020 at the state assembly sitting on Monday (Nov 18).
“In conjunction of VMY2020, Tourism Malaysia has also collaborated with Sabah Tourism Board (STB) to come up with a brochure called Best of Sabah Packages 2019/2020, which highlights 100 tourism packages across the state.
“This is in the form of e-brochure, with printed versions available in Tourism Malaysia’s offices in and outside the country, ” she said during the question and answer session.
Liew added that among the marketing strategies to promote Sabah is putting VMY2020 logos in all promotional activities participated in foreign markets.
The ministry, through STB, also takes part in various travel shows, she added.
“Among the upcoming ones listed in the first quarter of 2020 are Asean Tourism Forum 2020 in Brunei (January), South Asia’s Travel and Tourism Exchange in New Delhi (January), MATTA Fair in Kuala Lumpur (March) and Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin in March, ” she added.
She said Sabah will also host the main adventure travel industry conference in the Asia Pacific in February, where it is expected to attract many foreign visitors.
“We will continue to cooperate with international tourism agents and airline companies to promote our products here, as well as increase e-marketing through websites and social media, ” said Liew, adding they also plan for media familiarisation programmes.
Liew urged all elected representatives to support the cause by ensuring the tourism spots at their respective constituencies are maintained well and the communities are tourists-friendly.
Answering an additional question from Datuk Joniston Bangkuai ((PBS-Kiulu) on what the Sabah delegation has achieved when participating in the World Travel Market in London recently, Liew said they are putting more promotion on medical tourism there.
“We want to expand this new area of tourism, namely medical tourism. For example, a company based in London is coming to Sabah and we will talk on terms and conditions before signing a memorandum of understanding towards achieving this goal, ” she added.