KK Night Food Mart to boost tourism
Published on: Monday, December 03, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Apart from the popular Gaya Street Fair every Sunday morning, the city will now have another attraction for tourists and visitors – the weekly Api Api Night Food Market – where they can get a quick taste of Sabah's culture and food. The inaugural weekend night market at the famous Gaya Street will take place every Friday and Saturday, starting from 6pm to 2am.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Bin Apdal welcomed the introduction of the Api-Api Night Food Market as a new tourism product that will benefit the State.

He said in a city with a population of more than half a million people and the arrival of thousands of tourists to Kota Kinabalu on a daily basis, there is definitely a need to identify and create more tourism attractions.

Hence, he said, the Tourism. Culture and Environment Ministry, together with City Hall, had come up with the idea to start a night market along Gaya Street which is already frequented by tourists.

"This is no any ordinary night market because visitors will find that mostly on sale are food, local fruits and handicraft.

"We look forward to this event as a way to give soul to the city by attracting many people to come to Gaya Street. And on Sunday there is the popular Gaya Street Fair in the morning," he said when launching of the Api-Api Night Food Market, at Lintasan Deasoka, on Saturday. His speech was read by Deputy Chief Minister cum Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew.

Earlier, Liew officiated the flag-off of the KK Christmas Fun Ride and Run Event in front of the City Hall building which saw the participation of more than 200 runners and biking enthusiasts.

According to Shafie, a holiday in Kota Kinabalu will not be complete without visiting the Night Food Market or Gaya Street Fair where there is plenty to see and learn about local culture and food.

"Gaya Street is also tourist-friendly. For example, there are signages in Chinese to help China tourists find their way around the city.

"Tourism is one of the main economic areas of the Sabah Government because we believe that it is a sector that can provide high impact to the overall development of Sabah.

"I am sure the natural beauty and wonders of Sabah will become great attractions for domestic and foreign tourists to visit this 'Land below the wind.' As such, we are continuously making efforts to meet the demands of tourists, so they will choose Sabah as their annual holiday destination.

He said Gaya Street was selected as the location due to its historical features, with some of its shops built over 100 years ago.

Other efforts to keep the city vibrant and buzzing with activity included setting aside the section of Gaya Street, known as Lintasan Deasoka, for food trucks.

"Lintasan Deasoka itself will become a spot for entertainers to display their talent. It can also be a place to hold events such as fashion shows and dance performances.

"This will add value and lend an air of festivity to the night market," he said.

Shafie said for tourists to choose Sabah as their annual holiday destination, the authorities must ensure that public toilets and food premises are always clean, in addition to properly maintaining public facilities.

"The key is cleanliness because no tourist would want to return if basic considerations such as cleanliness are absent. Keep Kota Kinabalu clean. Keep Sabah clean.

"Cleanliness is not only essential to ensure a healthy life for everybody, but it is also important if we want tourists to keep coming back," he elaborated.

According to Shafie, another aspect that must not be neglected is security.

"Only barely two weeks ago, the KK Watch was launched to help boost security in the city.

"This patrol team was formed to make Kota Kinabalu a safe city and so people can feel secure when walking the streets at night," he said. - Neil Chan


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