KOTA KINABALU, 18 January 2019: A wedding fair hosted in Sabah’s state capital is part of a campaign to build romance travel, especially honeymoons and weddings from neighbouring countries.
Singapore is a target in the short-term, but hoteliers said that further down track India would emerge as a strong market.
India is a famed for its mega weddings and huge earning host venues garner, probably the highest value wedding market in Asia.
Commenting on the impact of the wedding fair to the Borneo Post, Klagan Regency’s general manager, Yeow Hock Siew, said the core asset was Sabah’s people, who were ambassadors to ensure Sabah would continue to do well in the tourism sector.
“The natural warm and friendly charm of Sabah’s residents is one of the state’s main attractions,” he said.
Klagan Regency hosted the bridal fair last weekend and the hotel GM noted that the state’s asset to tap the wedding market was its strong “hospitality infrastructure as well as its natural attractions … the sea, the mountain and great food.”
The bridal fair attracted around 5,000 visitors over the three-day event hosted in the hotel’s new ballroom.
Tourist arrivals to Sabah in 2018 are expected pass the 3 million mark, up from 2,844,597 in 2017.
Last year, Sabah’s hotel industry expressed disappointment after the national airline Malaysia Airlines said it would cut flights.
State leaders said any cuts in flights was a serious problem due being on an island in contrast to Kuala Lumpur that has overland links to both Singapore and Thailand.
But the outlook is positive as Chinese arrivals increased by around 30% as more direct charter flights were established last year.