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Adding to the tourist surge
Published on: Thursday, November 07, 2013

Kota Kinabalu: Star Cruises' choice in making KK a homeport for the winter season of its Superstar Aquarius fits well with the need for additional tourist arrivals through other means of transport, said State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun."About 90 per cent of tourist influx arrive here is via plane. Illustrating that connectivity is important to keep a continuous flow of tourists coming into the state," Masidi said, at the Inaugural Cruise Ceremony, here.

He welcomed Star Cruises for bringing in a much broader crowd into the state and complementing the current 87 per cent increase in North Asian tourists going by statistics compiled in the first nine months.

"This includes those from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea."

In fact, this is phenomenal as by the end of this year, he expects and believes the percentage of tourist arrivals to increase.

"It's an all time high record of guests from outside of Sabah."

"A double digit growth can be seen this year in terms of international tourists arrivals, added Masidi who compared this with last year's statistics.

On security, he assured that the Malaysian Royal Navy would spare no effort to ensure passengers safety.

Masidi said the beauty of Sabah lies in the people because the tourist destinations that we have already exist in one form or another in other states in Malaysia or even other countries in the world.

"What I wish to highlight that Sabahans which comprise of 32 ethnic races are the best Malaysians. In Sabah, we do not see each other in terms of race or religion. We're just Sabahans."

Apart from the best natural wonders, relaxed pace life and warmth of hospitality offered to guests to make them feel at home, this unity is what sets us apart from other Malaysians in the State, added Masidi.

"The best Malaysians live in Sabah. We are undoubtedly the most integrated Malaysians, he stressed.

"No where in the world will you be able to find people living side by side in harmony like us."

On behalf of the Sabah State Government, he thanked Star Cruises representatives for selecting Sabah. Among those present were Star Cruises Chief Operating Officer, William Ng, Star Cruises East Malaysia Operations Vice President, Edward Johann Leong, Star Cruises Cruise Operations Vice President, Raymond Lim, Superstar Aquarius Captain, Carl J Nilermark, Sabah Tourism Board Chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, JP, Royal Malaysian Police Deputy Supt Peter Ambuas and Royal Malaysian Navy's Commander of Naval Region, Rosland Omar.



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