Sabah attracts attention at world tourism event in Berlin

Bangkuai (left) meeting with Matt Midworth (right) of National Geographic Traveller at the ITB Berlin 2023.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s diverse tourism offerings are turning heads at an international tourism fair in Berlin.

This interest from Western and European holidaymakers was shared by foreign travel and tour agents to delegates from the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) at the ITB Berlin 2023 (Internationale Tourismus-Borse Berlin).

During the travel trade show, the STB team met with 33 travel agents from countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark, the Czech Republic, the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Australia.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister-cum-STB chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said most of the industry players he met with assured that Sabah was still a promising holiday destination.

Bangkuai said Sabah’s diverse tourism sector had remained a pulling force, especially for Western and European tourists who appreciate adventure and exploring off the usual track.

“Sabah is the ideal getaway for them since it has everything they enjoy—sea, sun, wildlife and nature,” he said, in a statement here on Saturday (March 11).

“These are the kinds of tourists we want to keep pursuing," he added.

The industry players, Bangkuai said, also took a shine to STB's new tagline of “Feel Sabah, North Borneo, believing it would help the state stand out as a unique and appealing attraction on Borneo island.

“They like how the new tagline highlights the experiential aspect of visiting Sabah. I believe that having people live the experience of traveling while they are at their destination is an effective call to action,” he said.

He added that the STB was driven to implement good changes in its promotional strategy to ensure that visitors will not just see Sabah, North Borneo, but that they would experience it in a personal and meaningful way.

This was useful for Sabah considering tourists visit different parts of the stafe for a unique travel perspective, he said.

Sabah's new tourism destination tagline was unveiled at the ITB Berlin on March 7 in the presence of Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew who was leading a 10-member delegation from the state.

Bangkuai also said that most travel agencies have indicated Sabah was marketable since it connects to the rest of the world via Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, which were major transportation hubs in Southeast Asia.

Sabah industry players present at the ITB Berlin were Borneo Eco Tours, Borneo Nature Tours, Borneo Trails, Rustic Borneo, Sepilok Tropical Wildlife Adventure and the Tabin Wildlife Resort.

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