Chinese tourists lead international visits to Sabah in first quarter of 2024

Sabah governor Tun Juhar Mahiruddin (fifth from right) cutting the anniversary cake while Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor (fifth from left), China Consul-General in Kota Kinabalu Dr Huang Shifang (fourth from left) and other dignitaries looked on during the 50th anniversary of Malaysia-China diplomatic ties reception in Kota Kinabalu.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has proven to be a favourite destination for tourists from China, with 116,922 Chinese nationals among the 321,184 international visitors to the state in the first quarter of 2024.

At a reception held here on Thursday (May 23) to mark Malaysia’s 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations with China, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor expressed his hope for a continued and strengthened bond between Sabah and China.

"Malaysia’s 50 years of diplomatic ties with China reflect the enduring power of our friendship and cooperative endeavours, and Sabah is proud to contribute to this legacy,” said Hajiji.

He said that in 2023, Sabah and China achieved significant milestones in various sectors, bolstered by friendly exchanges with several Chinese provinces and cities that have yielded promising developments.

"Our tourism statistics for January to March this year show that Sabah welcomed 776,845 visitors, with international guests making up 321,184 of that number. Of the international visitors, a significant portion was from China," Hajiji remarked.

He welcomed the uptrend in Chinese visitors, particularly business tourists, as a positive indicator of international interest.

The event was also attended by Governor Tun Juhar Mahiruddin and his wife Toh Puan Norlidah RM Jasni.

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