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China media to promote Sabah’s turtle conservation

20th March, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Tourism Board (STB) is seeking exposure on Sabah’s marine conservation efforts in China. It is working with Guangzhou Asian World International Travel, which has taken the initiative to bring eight Chinese media organisations representing magazines, TV channels, and online media on a week-long tour of Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan recently.

The media visitors spent four days in Lankayan Dive Resort for the sea turtle conservation and adoption programme carried out in the resort.

It is the first international travel agent to organise such a programme in Lankayan Dive Resort. Last year, 73% out of an estimated 128,000 international arrivals to islands and dive resorts in Sabah were visitors from China and the number is growing, according to STB.

STB is working on diversifying the Chinese market by emphasising the marine conservation efforts in Lankayan Island by partnering with Guangzhou Asian World International Travel, which specialises in diving.

Through the Reef Guardian’s sea turtle nest adoption programme, a total of 365 sea turtle nests were adopted last year at the Sugud Island Marine Protected Area (SIMCA).

“Chinese visitors remain the majority of international tourist arrivals to Sabah last year with an increase of 37.7% compared to the year 2017 and Sabah is becoming a favourite diving destination among Chinese divers.

“Dive resorts and travel agents in Sabah are very supportive in organising marine conservation programme as an exercise to spread this important issue.

“We are happy with the efforts and support by Guangzhou Asian World International Travel towards raising the awareness about marine conservation in their tourism product to Sabah. The successful result from their previous efforts means there is a growing awareness from the Chinese visitors about marine conservation,” says Ken Pan Ying On, chairman of STB.

In the past, Guangzhou Asian World International Travel had organised marine environmental protection programmes such as ‘Semporna Ocean Day’ and turtle nest adoption programme to its customers. A tour to Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre was also included as part of their trip to Sabah.

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