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Hilton adds to Sabah’s prestige

Kota Kinabalu: The grand opening of the ninth Hilton property in Malaysia – the 305-room Hilton Hotel Kota Kinabalu – is timely as Sabah continues to grow as a popular tourist destination.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the State Government is confident the presence of this well-established hotel chain would complement economic growth, especially in the tourism sector in Sabah, and the city in particular.

He said the State Government welcomed the establishment of this reputable hotel that adds to Kota Kinabalu’s landscape, which is a milestone for Hilton Hotels and Resorts, and a testimony of the confidence that investors have in Sabah.

“Let me assure Hilton Hotels and Resorts that you have made the right decision to invest in Kota Kinabalu.

I also commend Pekah Hotels for rescuing this project, which was abandoned for a couple of years.

“This hotel has all the attributes for success with its strategic location in the city and latest facilities that create ease for both business and leisure travellers whereby its grand ballroom can accommodate 900 people which will also provide an alternative to those seeking space within the city to hold their events.

“To grow our economy, we do not only need infrastructure development, but also complementary services such as reputable hotels,” he said, at its official opening, Saturday.

He hoped the hotel would contribute to the State’s long-term goal to establish Sabah as the world’s destination of choice in terms of nature diversity, rich cultures as well as business and investments.

“I wish to take this opportunity to call on hotels and resorts in Sabah to create their own niche and to offer something different to guests. Make use of feedback that guests send you to update your services and to cater to the needs of your target market.

“I also wish to see hotel and resort operators in Sabah raising the bar on standards so that your guests will return not only to Sabah, but to your hotel or resort.

“Sabah is known for its biodiversity, clean environment and nature based destinations, and thus, I am urging the resort and hotel operators to be mindful of the need to implement policies that support this,” Musa said.

He said Sabah does not only need infrastructure development to boost its economic growth but also complementary services such reputable hotels.

“Tourism will continue to feature as part of Sabah’s economic development. With our strong presence in the global tourism market, the government remains committed in further developing the sector along with private entities.

“Sabah has a variety of tourism products that cater to the needs of tourists, from nature destinations to rich cultural heritage, a diversity of food, and shopping options. There is always something for everyone who visits our State.

“As reported recently, Sabah recorded its best year ever in 2016 with 3.43 million tourist arrivals with an estimated RM7.25 billion in tourism receipts.  This surpassed the best record in 2013 with 3.38 million tourist arrivals,” he said.

Musa said there was an increase of international tourist arrivals year last year of 15.4 per cent compared to 2015 and the statistics showed that China remains the main contributor with a 33.2 per cent market share.

He said aggressive efforts to market Sabah by working with the right partners including the private sector are showing encouraging results that was hoped for.

“We also made the right decision over a decade ago when we decided to focus on tourism as one of our engines of growth in the State Development Agenda. This was followed by the attention given by the Federal Government on tourism as outlined in the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).

“Today we see spin offs from this sector, ranging from those who have become entrepreneurs by offering services including delivery of food items, to quality jobs that enhance skills of locals.

“We are also seeing a rise in interest among airlines to offer direct flights from regional destinations into Kota Kinabalu International Airport, due to strong market support,” Musa said.

With the Hilton Kinabalu now in operation, the city is served with no less than eight top class hotels and resorts within a five-kilometre radius that translates into several thousand high-end rooms.

They include Gayana Resort and YTL Resort (both on Pulau Gaya), Le Meridien, Hyatt Regency, Shangrila Tanjung Aru Resort, Pacific Sutera, Magellan and the upcoming Mercure. All of them have one thing in common – they are a stone’s throw from the city’s famed seafront.

There are more top hotel accommodations in the pipeline as they are in various stages of completion. – Hayati Dzulkifli

Source: Daily Express

Tawau Cultural Fest listed in Sabah Tourism Calendar

Tawau: The Tawau International Cultural Festival will be included in the Sabah Tourism Calendar.

The announcement was made by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, saying he believed events like this are important as agents that promote unity among the multi-racial communities here.

“The Government agrees to include the Tawau International Cultural Festival into the annual Sabah Tourism Calendar as it is one of the most anticipated programmes by residents in the district,” he said during the launching of the sixth edition of the festival here on Sunday.

Musa noted the event was considered international as it reflects and displays the unique culture of the people in Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

He was confident the successful organising of the festival each year has prepared a good platform to unite the people, and the encouragement of kinship between cultures.

“Aside from leveraging the cultures of our ancestors, the festival had also proved able to enhance ties among each other,” he said.

Some 50,000 people turned up for the Tawau International Cultural Festival involving 28 ethnic groups and three invited nations – Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia – who performed at the event, including the appearance of local artistes like Salma, Hafiz and comedian Zero during its closing. – Lagatah Toyos

Source: Daily Express

The Grand Launch of Hilton Hotel, Kota Kinabalu

Hilton Hotel, Kota Kinabalu

YAB Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Hj Aman, Chief Minister of Sabah launched the opening of Hilton Hotel, Kota Kinabalu on March 18, 2017. Also present was YB Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Sabah as well as a number of cabinet ministers of Sabah.

Majlis Pelancaran Hotel Hilton Kota Kinabalu yang disempurnakan oleh YAB Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Hj Aman, Ketua Menteri Sabah pada 18 Mac 2017. Turut hadir sama adalah YB Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun, Menteri Pelancongan, Kebudayaan dan Alam Sekitar Sabah dan beberapa menteri kabinet Negeri Sabah. 

Unicef partners with KRC to host BIM

Kota Kinabalu: The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) will join forces with Kinabalu Running Club (KRC) to host the 10th edition of the Borneo International Marathon that carries a new theme :#thisability’ this year.

KRC President and race director Datuk Dr Heng Aik Cheng in his speech at the official launch of the event by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman at a leading hotel here on Wednesday said some 10,000 participants from Malaysia and overseas will take part together with children of disability in Kota Kinabalu on May 7.

“This year we are including children with disabilities to help them to realise their full potential.

We want to provide opportunities and encourage them to learn and participate in all our activities.

“By bringing together persons with and without disabilities in the marathon will give them the pride and dignity in our community and will also contribute to make our society more inclusive,” he said.

In her speech, Malaysia Unicef representative Marianne Clark-Hattingh said the race is for thousands of Malaysians and foreigners to run for a single common and noble course: Children with disabilities and their inclusion in our daily lives.

“We know sport is a healthy activity and has the power to unite all different kinds of people for fun , play and achievement.

“Children with disability often face stigma and discrimination. Through sports, we want to dispel our own fears and biased views to build a more inclusive environment for children with disabilities.

“Everywhere in the world, it takes time to challenge negative attitudes and practices towards these children.

It is a marathon, not a sprint and we need to stay the course to break down the barriers.”

She also said they are very excited to work alongside Sabah Tourism Board, Youth and Sports Ministry, Kota Kinabalu City Hall, State Police, State Health Department and State Education Department.

Meanwhile, the organiser as a gesture of commitment has waived the registration fee for persons with disabilities.

Money raised from the event will be donated to local non-profit organisations that work to improve the lives of disadvantage groups including children with disabilities in Sabah.

Also present at the launch were City Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai and other top officials from the various State departments including the Police as well as some OKU athletes. – GL Oh

Source: Daily Express

Sabah Tourism Board building 100 years old next year

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Tourism Board (STB) building will be 100 years old on March 16, 2018 and an organising committee has been formed between PAM Sabah Chapter and Sabah Tourism Board (STB) to celebrate the auspicious occasion next year.

“The building, of which the opening was officiated by the governor Mr Pearson, on March 16, in 1918, will be exactly 100 years old next year,” said Ar Victor Wong, the organising chairman of the PAM-STB organising committee.

Wong is the Immediate Past Chairman of PAM Sabah Chapter and chairman of the Heritage and Conservation Committee under PAM Sabah Chapter.

The STB building was one of the buildings that were fortunate enough not to be destroyed during the Second World War, by the allied bombing in the Jesselton then. It is now one of the only three buildings in Kota Kinabalu gazetted for conservation and heritage. The other two buildings are the Atkinson Clock Tower and the Lands and Survey Department building, which were later converted to the Department of Social Welfare that was destroyed by fire in the morning of December 31, 1992.

“The building was first occupied in 1918 by the Government Printing Department when completed, but later renovated in 1936 to house the Treasury, Audit Office, a bank and the Post Office,” Wong added.

The building underwent restoration in 1989 and it was officiated open on January 19, 1991, to house the Sabah Tourism Promotion Board, now the STB office.

On March 16, 2011, the Kilometre Zero or KM0 was set and planted by the Royal Institute of Surveyors, Sabah at a spot in front of the STB building, to mark it as the starting measuring point of all the places in Sabah.

“The building which was originally designed and supervised by JW Norman, an executive engineer with the Public Works Department, featured a very formal axis with two arches at the facade at the front. The  building was built of block stones,  different from the normal construction of the day using timber. It was described as the best in Borneo by the governor during the opening ceremony in 1918,” Wong said.

Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said a series of activities would be organised gradually leading to March 16, 2018.

“This is a historical moment for the city as it adds value and characteristic to its landscape. It is also a milestone for Sabah Tourism, its employees as well as the public to witness a centennial celebration of a heritage building,” said Joniston.

“The building has seen decades of major transformation surrounding it, from a rail track that used to connect to Beaufort now a sealed road; to the development of the central business district for the city attracting many visitors to Gaya Street’s many popular outlets and more,” he added. -AFP

Source: Borneo Post