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Singapore vital for tourism, says Liew
Published on: Saturday, September 08, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah has always regarded Singapore as a very important tourism market and this is underscored by the fact that there are now 28 direct flights connecting both cities daily.

"The number doubled this year with our latest partnership with Malindo Air," Deputy Chief Minister Christina Liew said when welcoming Singapore Deputy Prime Minister cum Coordinating Minister for National Security, Teo Chee Hean, Friday (pic).

"Currently, three airlines are flying direct from Singapore to Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA), namely SilkAir (daily), AirAsia (double daily) and Malindo Air (daily)," said Liew, who is also State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister.

She said Singapore has been among the top 10 market sources for Sabah with over 20,000 arrivals each year. In 2017, total arrivals from Singapore were recorded at 23,016, which was a 4.5pc increase compared with the figure in 2016.

She believed this was partly due to most of Sabah's promotions being online, following the trends of today, and able to reach technologically-savvy Singaporeans, she said.


She said Singapore is an international hub well-connected with many international and regional airlines, which could help link international long and medium-haul markets into Sabah such as visitors from UK/Europe/USA as well as Australia/New Zealand.

Liew told the delegation that presently, her Ministry is aggressively reintroducing Sabah's East Coast, especially the districts of Sandakan and Tawau.

Saying both offer different appeal, Liew said Sandakan's rich heritage since the pre-war days still stands and is waiting to be discovered.

"And Tawau's geographical attractions are waiting to be tapped. We hope the delegation will find time to discover the other side of Sabah."


She said tourism is now the State's third revenue earner after oil-palm and crude oil.

Teo was impressed with the ongoing Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. He wanted to know its exact location and how far the complex was from Sutera Harbour Resort, where he was entertained to a tea reception.

Among those in the delegation were the DPM's wife Mrs Chew Poh Yim, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Sim Ann, Chairperson of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Home Affairs and Law, Christopher De Souza, High Commissioner of Singapore to Malaysia Vanu Gopala Menon and wife Jayanthi Menon.

Also present were the Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Assaffal Alian and the Ministry's Permanent Secretary, Datu Rosmadi Datu Sulai.

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