Keep Sabah preferred tourist destination – CM

Musa arriving at Lintasan Desokan last night for the countdown to Visit Malaysia Year.

KOTA KINABALU: It would take a synergized effort from all parties to keep Sabah as one of the most preferred destinations in the region, and achieve its 2014 target of over three million tourist arrivals.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said everyone, especially those at the front line of the tourism industry, must in this regard have the right knowledge and attitude towards the tourists.

Speaking at the Countdown to Visit Malaysia 2014 at Lintasan Deasoka here last night, he noted that Malaysia had set a target of having 28 million tourists with tourism receipts of RM76 billion next year.

Out of this, he said 3.4 million visitors were expected to come to Sabah and contribute RM6.277 billion to the state’s income.

“In order to realize this, it is very important for all parties especially those at the front line, such as taxi drivers, hotel workers and tourist guides to always give their best services, be friendly and helpful towards our guests.

“Apart from that, I also hope all the front liners would improve their knowledge on tourism products and attractions that Sabah has to offer.

“This is to ensure that efforts to promote our tourism involved not only the Tourism Ministry and related agencies but everyone in the our society,” he said.

Musa said he welcomed the initiative by all ministries and local authorities in Sabah to host more events to highlight the diverse and unique culture and traditions of the local communities.

He however reminded that not only the organizers but all Sabahans attending such events must show that Sabah is the best and most accommodating host to outsiders.

Touching on the event, he said the countdown held in Kota Kinabalu was significant and in line with the national level effort, where Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had officially declared 2014 as ‘Visit Malaysia Year’, with a theme elebrating 1Malaysia, Truly Asia?

The rebranding of Visit Malaysia programme, he said, highlighted the strength and uniqueness of Malaysia, especially here in Sabah, which is the unity and harmonious existence of its people.

“We are grateful that we can live in solidarity despite our different races, religions and cultures. Indeed, this is why the Prime Minister recognized Sabah as the best model for 1Malaysia. This is the reality of the way Malaysians in Sabah live.

“Apart from political stability and economic prosperity, we are also blessed with nature wonders that attract visitors from the world over. These are the advantages that we must continue to nurture and promote,” he said.

The countdown was jointly organized by Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry, Tourism and Culture Ministry of Malaysia and Kota Kinabalu City Hall.