RM134.59mil to boost Sabah tourism sector

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s tourism sector gets a boost with RM134.59mil allocated to the state Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry in next year’s Budget.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said the allocation will include upgrading tourism facilities and human capital development for community-based tourism.

“The Sabah Convention Bureau (SCB) will be set up and will be operational by next year. The SCB will accelerate the growth of the tourism industry through tourism-based business events to turn Sabah into a preferred destination for Meeting, Incentive, Conference and Exhibition (MICE) events that will generate economic activities for the benefit of the hospitality, logistics, aviation and other related sectors,” he said at the opening of the World Tourism Conference (WTC) 2022 here yesterday.

His speech text was delivered by Local Government and Housing Minister and Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.

Hajiji said although Sabah’s tourism sector was the worst affected sector these past two years due to Covid-19, the state government has worked hard to overcome the challenges.

“The Sabah government dispensed a good Budget to cushion the impact and to ensure the healthy development of our tourism industry, seeing that tourism generated the biggest revenue for the state during the pre-pandemic period.

“I am happy to say that our efforts to empower local communities through the community-based rural tourism programme have borne fruit.

“It is a thriving sector as we continue to see its steady growth throughout Sabah,” Hajiji said.

He added that rural-based tourism provided the opportunity for the state to grow and improve community-based tourism products through upskilling and product enhancement.

Hajiji said the fact that Sabah has managed to register 1.2 million domestic and international visitor arrivals between January and September this year, with an estimated tourism receipts of RM2.1bil, is a good sign the state’s tourism sector is recovering.

He also announced that from Dec 5 until Jan 1, 2023, Sabah will have an additional 24 international flights per week from Taipei, Narita, Busan and Hong Kong.

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