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TAR Marine Park top attraction

12th September, 2018


KUALA LUMPUR: The islands tour to the Tunku Abdul Rahman (TAR) Marine Park in Kota Kinabalu is the most popular destination among the Chinese, Taiwanese and Koreans tourists to Sabah.

Last year alone, a total of 564,330 visits were recorded, according to Sabah Tourism Board (STB) statistics.

The next popular spot was Poring Hot Spring attracting (416,572 visitors), followed by Kinabalu National Park (304,905), Tun Sakaran Marine Park (163,183), Lok Kawi Wildlife Park (142,519), Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary (120,529) and Sipadan Island (43,717).

The Sabah eco-tourism continues to beckon the arrivals from China as it has increased by 44.2 per cent to 300,103 visitors during the first six months this year compared to the same period last year.

The growth from the South Koreans arrivals also remain strong with up to 17.2 per cent to 162,276 visitors despite a decline of 11.9 per cent to 26,250 people from the Taiwanese, Senator Datuk Yong Wui Chung was told during the Dewan Negara sitting recently.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Mohamaddin Ketapi also told the House that his ministry is working with STB to organise various tour packages to cater for charter flights from East Asia which is popular in Sabah.

“From January to June this year, Sabah has received 151 charter flights carrying 20,532 tourists from China and one charter flight from Japan.

“Tourist arrivals from China, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan via charter flights have increased by 273 per cent to 20,652 persons this year compared to 5,504 persons for the same period last year,” he disclosed.

Other promotions include taking part in overseas tourism exhibitions such as the International Tourism Bourse (ITB)-Berlin; World Travel Mart (WTM)-London; Destination Show-London; Vakantiebeurs-Amsterdam; Matka-Helsinki; and Sabah Roadshow-Australia.

At home, it has organised mega familiarisation trips for media and industry players to introduce the attractions in Sabah; advertising campaigns for the domestic and international markets; and overall promotion of inbound tourism.

An advertising budget of RM110 million was allocated to promote the Malaysia Tourism for 2018, he added. To further boost the community-based tourism focusing on homestay programmes, he said his ministry has identified eight eco-tourism clusters in Sabah under the National Ecotourism Plan (NEP) 2016-2025.

They are Kota Kinabalu-Papar-Beaufort-Klias-Kuala Penyu-Menumbok-Sipitang-Long Pasia; Sandakan-Kinabatangan; Kota Kinabalu-Kota Belud-Kota Marudu-Kudat; Kota Kinabalu-Tambunan-Crocker Range Park-Keningau-Tenom; Kota Kinabalu-Tamparuli-Kundasang-Ranau; Maliau Basin-Imbak Canyon; Danum Valley-Tabin (Lahad Datu); and Tawau-Semporna-Mabul-Sipadan-Kunak.

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