Sabah needs more hotels to cater to tourist influx

Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry has expressed concern over the insufficient number of hotel rooms to accommodate the growing number of tourists to the State in the future.

Its Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun (pic) said as the State was enjoying encouraging numbers in tourism receipts, the State Government feared its promotional efforts would be an exercise in futility.

“There are limitations to promote Sabah as we do not want the tourists to pitch up tents simply because we do not have enough rooms (for them).

“If there are not enough hotels, in the future, we will definitely have a big problem.

Eventually, growth will become a plateau if the State tourism’s growth does not equal the availability of hotel rooms,” he told reporters after opening a Taiwan-based café, Camaco Gelato Concept Café, here, Sunday.

Masidi said his Ministry, through its agencies such as the Sabah Tourism Board, was striving to ensure that there were enough hotels to meet future demands.

He said the State recorded RM7.25 billion in tourism receipt in 2016 and expected last year’s (2017) numbers to hit the RM7.7 billion mark.

On the cafe, Masidi said Camaco’s decision in setting up an outlet here was a manifestation of the company’s confidence in the business climate of the State Capital and its growing sophistication.

With 14 foreign airlines flying to Kota Kinabalu and 178 flights per week, of them 84 from China alone, he said it clearly showed the growing number of flights was a manifestation of tourist confidence in city’s ability to grow.

Source: Daily Express

Xiamen Airlines makes inaugural Beijing-KK flight

KOTA KINABALU: Chinese tourist arrivals in Sabah will be boosted as Xiamen Airlines has opened the state to the northern China market with its inaugural direct flight from Beijing to Kota Kinabalu.
The airline made Kota Kinabalu its first international destination from Beijing and expects more tourists from the city and northern China to travel to Sabah, in addition to those from the southern and central parts of the country.
“We expect the new route to contribute to the growing demand of Chinese and expatriate holiday-makers to Sabah,” said Ou Dong Ying, the airlines’ vice president for its Beijing operations.
Xiamen Airlines has been operating direct flights from Fuzhou in central China to Kota Kinabalu since Jan 2017, with an average 80% load on their Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
State Tourism, Culture and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun arrived together with Malaysian ambassador to China Datuk Zainuddin Yahya on the inaugural flight from Beijing.
“Tourists from north China can now fly in directly without having to transit,” he said on arrival at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.
The Sabah Tourism Board also gave a traditional welcome to tourists who got off the plane.
“There will be a strong exchange of visitors that will foster good people-to-people relations between Sabah and China,” he said, adding that about 40 chartered flights from China are expected over the next three months.
Sabah had 3.65 million Chinese visitors last year, a record increase of 430,000 visitors or more than 14% compared to 2016. The value of tourism receipts was estimated as RM7.7bil.
Masidi said with such a high number of tourist arrivals, the state cabinet had asked several companies to build more hotels to cater to the growing needs of tourists.
Source: The Star

New Sabah International Convention Centre to be completed in 10 months

KOTA KINABALU: The state’s upcoming new landmark, the Sabah International Convention Centre, is expected to be ready within 10 months, says Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman.

“The construction is still ongoing and we hope it will be completed according to schedule.

“The centre will be timely for us, as it can host meetings, conferences and exhibitions even at international level, as the state currently lacks a huge venue for these events,” he said, adding the state government has extended its gratitude to the federal government over the RM250 million contribution for the centre.

Musa was speaking to reporters after inspecting the construction progress at the site.

Also present were state cabinet ministers, Yayasan Sabah Group director Datuk Sapawi Ahmad, members of the Sabah Chamber of Commerce, and the Sabah Chinese Chambers Association.

He added besides exhibitors and performers, the centre will also provide job opportunities for locals.

The centre, owned by state-operated Yayasan Sabah, will have a 20,400 square exhibition area including the hall, 22 meeting rooms, an open plaza for outdoor exhibitions, as well as a convention hall.

Its two-tier performing arts hall can cater for 1,200 audiences, four simultaneous interpretation booths, built-in stage with technologically advanced audio visual and stage lighting, rehearsal room and ample holding storage.

Source: New Straits Times

Special Flight on Malaysia Airlines Berhad’s Very First A350 XWB to Kota Kinabalu Sabah

YB Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Sabah was the guest of honour aboard the special flight on Malaysia Airlines Berhad’s very first A350 XWB from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu on 9 January 2018.
YB Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun, Menteri Pelancongan, Kebudayaan dan Alam Sekitar Sabah menjadi tetamu khas sempena dengan Penerbangan Khas Kapal Airbus A350 XWB yang pertama  Malaysia Airlines Berhad dari Kuala Lumpur ke Kota Kinabalu pada 9 Januari 2018. 

MAS Airbus A350 conducts test flight to KKIA

KOTA KINABALU: A Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) Airbus A350 plane conducted its test flight from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) yesterday.

Aimed at providing the pilots and cabin crew the experience of handling the new aircraft before it started its Kuala Lumpur to London service on Jan 15, the plane arrived at KKIA at 3.50 pm after departing from KLIA at 1.05 pm.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun, Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, MAB’s Chief Commercial Officer Arved von zur Muehlen and more than 100 other passengers were on the flight.

Speaking to reporters after arriving at the KKIA, von zur Muehlen said the new aircraft, which has 286 seats including four seats in the First Class, 35 in Business Class and 247 in Economy Class, is believed to be able to provide excellent experience and comfort to customers.

He expressed gratitude for being able to fly the KUL-BKI route prior to commencing the KUL-LDN route.

“We’re happy we can fly here and are very grateful for the support from Sabah Tourism Board to show our latest product.

“The A350 is our latest flight as we are redoing our fleet, which is one of the youngest in Asia with only four years,” he said.

Arved explained that the new A350 fleet would be replacing the A380, due to various factors.

“The A350 XWB offers true long-range capability, operational efficiency with 25 per cent lower operating cost and exclusive passenger experience.

“The A380 is a larger aircraft and for the size of the Malaysian market, its capacity is too much.

“To fill the aircraft everyday is a bit of a challenge and the London route is competitive, so the A350 is better,” he said.

Arved added that air quality will improve significantly in the A350 with a new air filter system, wide seats offering a high level of comfort for long-haul travel, in-seat entertainment and full connectivity, as well as full LED cabin lighting system, among others.

All six ordered A350 aircrafts will be delivered by the second half of the year, said Arved, while the former A380 crafts will be used for pilgrimage chartered flights to Jeddah and Madinah.


Source: Borneo Post