KOTA KINABALU: Over 3,500 delegates from China’s JM Group have been arriving to Sabah since last Saturday, as Kota Kinabalu was picked as their conference venue.
It was the largest MICE (meeting, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) group from China the state have hosted.
The delegates of the JM Top Achievers China arrived in batches and were spread out to eleven hotels in the state capital.
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, in a statement, said that the event is an indication that Sabah is ready to host large scale events.
“Sabah is embarking into a serious business conference venue with the completion of the Sabah International Convention Centre soon.
“An estimated RM31.8 million economic impact is expected to flow into tourism in Sabah (from this development).
“The Sabah Tourism Board (STB) will be targeting incentive groups from China as it has a huge potential due of the many large corporations there,” said Masidi when opening the JM Top Achievers China’s conference at the Universiti Sabah Malaysia, yesterday.
According to him, more Chinese incentives are expected, such as Perfect (China) and Babycare.
STB’s forecast shows a potential average of 33,000 arrivals from China monthly, this year alone.
New direct flights connecting China to Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) has been steadily introduced every year.
In the last six months, new and additional flights from Wuhan, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Fuzhou brought to a total of 79 flights from China into the state on a weekly basis.
Last night, Masidi and Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau chief executive officer Datuk Zulkefli Sharif attended the JM Group’s beach gala night dinner as guest-of-honours at the Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort.
In the event, JM Group Executive Director Qiu Wei Joe and delegates were treated to a sunset beach party, featuring entertainment and fireworks display.
Source: New Straits Times