DUBAI, 12 May 2022: The Sabah Tourism Board, along with five local travel agents, are promoting Sabah as one of Malaysia’s hidden gems at the 2022 Arabian Travel Market in Dubai this week.
The Sabah tourism delegation met with tourism key players and potential buyers on the eve of the ATM for a business-to-business (B2B) session that focused on resuming Sabah’s tourism promotions in the Middle East market.
Organised by the Solidarity Association For Travel and Tours Agency Malaysia (SAFTTA), the engagement was launched by the Tourism, Arts, and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
Sabah Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer Noredah Othman said the Middle East was an emerging market for Sabah… the B2B session was timely and necessary as travel activities returned to normal.
“Sabah can be an eye-opening destination for our Middle Eastern visitors, from its friendly people and rich culture to its breathtaking nature, wildlife, and cuisine. We have a wide variety of unique experiences for tourists to enjoy.
“We, at Sabah Tourism Board, have consistently maintained our commitment and aggressiveness in promoting tourism activities and products to the foreign market, especially during the pandemic.
“We anticipate an influx of Middle Eastern tourists to Malaysia and to the state. We hope that this will boost our tourism industry even more. All stakeholders must work together to achieve this,” she said.
The five local travel agents participating in the SAFTTA B2B session were Fun Holiday Tours and Travel, Borneo Wakid Adventures, i-world Travel and Tours, Exotic Asian Explorer (Borneo), and AiTrave.
According to Fun Holiday Tours and Travel managing director Connie Chong, Middle Eastern travellers visiting Malaysia are not necessarily looking to shop. She added that many of them are drawn by the country’s climate, culture, and food.
“The SAFTTA B2B aims to promote Malaysia tourism products and provide more destination information to all trade partners and tourism industry players. As agents, we need to be aggressive in promoting our state’s uniqueness to them, such as the Danum Valley, Kundasang highland, islands, the local cultures, and many more.
“Flight connectivity is not a major problem for Sabah. So, we will continue to play our role in promoting Sabah as a new travel destination,” said Chong, who helped organise the engagement session.
Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Brunei are currently the easiest gateways to reach Sabah from Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
The Kuala Lumpur – Kota Kinabalu and Singapore – Kota Kinabalu routes are well connected, with several airlines now operating between the cities.
(Your Stories: Sabah Tourism Board)