‘Fly Me To Sabah’ campaign spurs domestic travel
Published on: Saturday, June 18, 2022
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Andrea with her husband and three children before the sunset cruise tour.
Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Tourism Board’s (STB) “Fly Me To Sabah” campaign saw an encouraging response and had successfully stimulated domestic travel demands, said its Chief Executive Officer Noredah Othman. 

The campaign, which was organised from Feb 14 to April 14 this year, saw a total of 245 eligible entries, where participants were required to post their virtual letters to STB via Facebook and Instagram and use the required hashtags to win their “bucket list” holiday.

“The campaign has been able to stimulate domestic travel demands, especially since our international border was not open until April 1,” said Noredah. 

She added that arrival statistics for March 2022 had shown an increased number of domestic visitors to Sabah with a total of 119,399 arrivals that made up 50.9 per cent of the total domestic arrivals for the same month pre-Covid-19 pandemic in 2019.

Andrea Filmer was one of the winners who had always wanted to bring her family to visit Sabah. Her wish was made possible after she won STB’s virtual letter contest, leading her to win a travel voucher to Sabah worth RM5,000.

“I remember the day when the winner on March 14 was announced. I was making lunch and of course, checking my phone on and off. 

“I remember thinking that I shouldn’t get my hopes up and then chiding myself for that very thought as it is okay to hope and pray for the things you want. 

“Later in the afternoon, when I saw myself tagged by the SABAH, Malaysian Borneo social media account, I could barely believe my eyes. There was a lot of yelling and cheering going around and all three kids started chanting ‘We are going to Sabah!’” quoted Andrea to STB.

Hailing from Penang, Andrea was the second main winner of the campaign after she posted a video on her Facebook page about her kids’ interest to visit Sabah.

Andrea with her husband, Chong Han Yao, and their three children aged five to eight, recently returned from their bucket list Sabah holiday. 

They were in Sabah for four days visiting various attractions around the West Coast. Among the places that they visited were Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (Tarp), Klias Wetland, experiencing the North Borneo sunset cruise and the city tours.

“Our visit was amazing. All our three kids are very different but across the whole trip, Kota Kinabalu offered us so many unique things that each kid took to at different times. 

“For our youngest, it was snorkelling at the Tarp islands and getting a glimpse at what lives under the sea. 

“Our middle child remains thrilled at seeing a live crocodile at the Klias River and having his fill on the North Borneo Cruise ship. Our daughter loved the food and all the places that allowed her to be in the water,” she said. 

The #flymetosabah campaign awarded four main winners with the most creative, unique and exciting “letter”. Eighty participants received Sabah Tourism’s limited merchandise items.

The three other winners are Marcel George from Sarawak, Zaki Yusof from Kuala Lumpur and Siti Rohayu Aziz from Selangor. They are scheduled to travel to Sabah between June and September.

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