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Teo: Sabah’s popularity draws Chinese attention

5th October, 2016

XI’AN, China: Sabah’s growing popularity as a tourist destination was among key topics raised by Chinese officials met by a 10-member Sabah Legislative Assembly delegation, which concluded a nine-day working visit to China on Monday.

State Special Tasks Minister Datuk Teo Chee Kang, who led the delegation, said the Chinese officials noted that Sabah had become a prefered and popular destination among Chinese tourists.

“Sabah’s natural beauty as well as clean and unpolluted environment was also a big draw among the Chinese who were amazed with the numerous attractions it has to offer such as beach front resorts, sandy beaches, fresh seafood and a variety of local delicacies,” he said in a statement yesterday

He said the Hangzhou-Kota Kinabalu Friendship city pact, which is expected to be formalised soon, would certainly further boost tourism between both cities, which are already linked by a daily flight operated by AirAsia.

According to Teo, the need to hasten the signing of the pact was raised during the delegation’s meeting with the Hangzhou Municipal People’s Congress Standing Committe chairman Wang Jincai.

In a meeting in Beijing with the China People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, its vice chairman Lin Yi and Teo raised the possibility of establishing more friendship city between China and Malaysia, Sabah in particular.

This is to further enhance people-to-people ties, not just through exchange of visits, but also tourism activities. And, in a meeting with Muslim majority Hui Linxia Autonomous Prefecture deputy governor Shang Jinxi, Teo said Linxia and Sabah should explore the possibility of collaborating in Islamic tourism.

During a visit to Lanzhou, officials told the delegation that several travel companies in the city of three million people were looking into the possibility of arranging tours to Sabah.

Among members of the delegation were Sabah Tourism Board (STB) chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, Deputy Speakers Datuk Johnny Mositun and Datuk Dr Johnson Tee and several assistant state ministers.

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