Tourists pumped in RM7.25b

Kota Kinabalu: The State’s tourism industry has recorded its best year ever in 2016, said Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.

He said Sabah recorded 3.43 million tourist arrivals which surpassed its best record in 2013 with 3.38 million tourist arrivals.

“We have also recorded an all-time high tourism receipts of RM7.25 billion despite the fact that Sabah has faced many challenges.

“For international tourist arrivals alone, we have witnessed an increase of 15.4 per cent compared to 2015 statistics.

“And China has once again become the biggest contributor with 51.8 per cent of the tourist arrivals,” he said after a briefing session by Malaysia Airport Holding Bhd (MAHB) Chairman Tan Sri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah at Kota the Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA), here, Wednesday.

Looking at the statistics, Masidi said one of the most important components in the tourism industry is the services provided by airports.

“That is why we continue to have a constant engagement with MAHB and I am pleased with the various measures taken by MAHB to improve KKIA. MAHB has taken feedback from the public seriously and we admit that there are a few areas in KKIA that need to be improved.

“And MAHB perceives the feedback as beneficial so that further actions can be taken.

“We do not see criticism as something negative but, instead, it is an indication that the public are aware of what needs to be done and MAHB has responded accordingly and positively to them.”

Abdul Aziz said MAHB is serious in cooperating with the relevant parties to upgrade KKIA.

“In fact, KKIA is the second busiest airport in the country after Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

“As such, we need to know what we can do to further improve the facilities at KKIA to provide a total airport experience for passengers as KKIA is a very important gateway, not only to Sabah but also to Malaysia,” he said.

Towards this end, he said MAHB has drafted short, medium and long-term plans to upgrade the capacity and the connectivity of KKIA which is set to become the hub for Borneo. – Ricardo Unto

Source: Daily Express