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Sabah as an attractive destination for Arabs
Published on: Monday, May 16, 2022
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Sabah as an attractive destination for Arabs
SABAH Tourism Board (STB) and five local travel agents will present Sabah as one of Malaysia’s hidden jewels at the 2022 Arabian Travel Market in Dubai. 

On May 8, tourism leaders held a business-to-business (B2B) meeting with potential buyers to promote Sabah as a favoured destination in an effort to break into the Middle Eastern market.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri kicked off the engagement, organised by the Solidarity Association for Travel and Tours Agency Malaysia (Saftta).

The Middle East is Sabah’s rising market, according to STB Chief Executive Officer Noredah Othman. As a result, the B2B session is relevant and required now that travel activities are returning to normal.

“From its friendly people and rich culture to its stunning scenery, animals and cuisine, Sabah can be an eye-opening destination for our Middle Eastern guests.  Tourists can choose from a diverse range of interesting experiences.

“During the pandemic, we at STB have continually maintained our commitment and aggressiveness in promoting tourism activities and products to the international market.

“We expect a surge in Middle Eastern tourists to visit Malaysia and the State. We anticipate that this would further improve our tourism business. “To achieve this, all stakeholders must collaborate,” she said.

The five local travel agents participating in the Saftta B2B session were Fun Holiday Tours and Travel, Borneo Wakid Adventures, i-world Travel and Tours, Exotic Asian Explorer (Borneo) and AiTravel.

Middle Eastern visitors to Malaysia, according to Connie Chong, Managing Director of Fun Holiday Tours and Travel, are not necessarily wanting to shop. She said many of them are attracted to the country because of its climate, culture and food.

“The Saftta B2B aims to promote Malaysia tourism products and provide additional destination information to all trade partners and tourism industry stakeholders.  As agents, we must be vigorous in marketing the Danum Valley, Kundasang upland, islands, local customs and other aspects of our State to them.

“For Sabah, flight connection is not a huge issue. As a result, we will continue to promote Sabah as a new vacation destination,” said Connie, who assisted with the engagement session.

Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Brunei are currently the easiest gateways to Sabah from Dubai and Abu Dhabi. 

The Kuala Lumpur-Kota Kinabalu and Singapore-Kota Kinabalu routes are well connected by air, with several airlines now operating between the cities.

The Arabian Travel Market is among the leading platforms for the tourism and travel industries, allowing professionals to showcase their brand and discover new market prospects.

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