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Sabah expects to rake in RM2.1m from new holiday packages
Published on: Thursday, October 10, 2013
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Kota Kinabalu: Tourism Malaysia Sabah is expecting to bring in a total of RM2.1 million in tourism receipts with the launching of the latest "Sabah - Best of Borneo Holiday Packages", the first thematic holiday packages ever created in the country.The packages consist of 35 tour packages in 14 themes, ranging from day trip to 4-day and 3-night tour, with prices ranging from as low as RM157 to as high as RM2,697 per person and valid till Dec 31, 2014.

The packages include eco-nature and wildlife, photography specials, honeymoon, culture and heritage, two wheel (bicycling), island getaway, spa wellness, food trails, angling, diving, adventure, parks and garden, homestay and golfing packages.

A total of 17 travel tours and agencies have committed to providing the holiday packages to tourists.

"For the past 12 years, Sabah has enjoyed double-digit growth annually.

The total arrivals increased five-fold from about 500,000 in 2000 to over 2.5 million in 2010.

The number reached 2.87 million last year, contributing RM5.1 billion to the State's economy.

"This growth continues this year where the first seven months already saw 1.8 million tourists visiting the State, signifying an increase of 13.5 per cent compared to the same period last year.

"With this performance, I am confident that Sabah will reach its target of 3.01 million tourist arrivals and RM5.4 billion in receipts this year," said Deputy Chairman of Tourism Malaysia, Dato Maznah Mazlan, during the launching ceremony, here, Wednesday.

Also present during the ceremony were Sabah Tourism Board Chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, Vice President of Matta, KL Tan, and Chairman of Matta Sabah Chapter, Robert Chong.

Maznah also said that according to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Malaysia is the tenth most visited country in the world in 2012, registering 25 million tourist arrivals and RM60.6 billion in receipts.

"In line with the Malaysia Tourism Transformation Plan, the country targets to achieve 36 million arrivals and RM168 billion in receipts by the year 2020.

"Next year, we will be celebrating Visit Malaysia Year (VMY), an intensive tourism campaign, set to promote the country internationally and highlight various pro-active initiatives by the Ministry of Tourism and Tourism Malaysia," she added.

Meanwhile, Sabah Parks Chairman Dato Seri Tengku Zainal Adlin said the State is offering quality visit to tourists who come to Sabah and not merely involved in the tourism business just for the tourism receipts.

"We are not selling rooms, we are selling experiences. The days of selling attraction tourism are a foregone era. The future of tourism business is the selling of experience.

And Sabah, of course Malaysia as well, can provide beauty and diversity of unique bio-culture," he said.

For example, he said, currently, due to carrying capacity of some tourism spots in the State, the Government is imposing limits to the number of tourists allowed to enter the spots at any given time to safeguard the environment.

"Mount Kinabalu is bigger than Singapore, receiving more than 600,000 visitors last year but only less than 200 people are allowed to climb per day. Same thing, Sipadan, only 120 people can dive per day. Danum Valley, we only allow 60 people to enter per day.

This is what's called quality visits," he said.

In the meantime, Tourism Malaysia Senior Deputy Director of Domestic Marketing Division, Zalizam Zakaria, said the board has done many promotions overseas through their international offices.

"At midnight on Jan 1, 2014, we are going to have a welcoming session in a big way in all 37 entry points to Malaysia, by land, sea or air. The first tourists passing through the entry points all over the country will be given grand receptions."



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