KOTA KINABALU: The Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry targets a modest tourist arrival for 2021, with an eye of 280,000 international and 1,020,000 domestic tourists.

Its Minister, Datuk Jafry Ariffin who dubbed 2021 as the revival of the state’s tourism industry which was adversely impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic has through the Sabah Tourism Board (STB)  drafted the ‘Roadmap 2021, Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin said in his winding up speech at the State Legislative Assembly sitting on Tuesday.

“This roadmap is a framework towards the recovery and rejuvenation of the Sabah tourism industry to remain sustainable and resilient.

“This recovery process will focus on Sabah’s local market before expanding to nationwide domestic and international markets,” said Jafry (pix) who also thanked the Chief Minister cum Finance Minister for allocating  RM130,359,510 million to his Ministry of which  RM113,339,500 million for supplies and RM17,020,010 million for development.

The recovery strategy comprised four main components beginning with recultivate consumer confidence through social media and virtual platforms; provide support to industry players through the provision of assistance and incentives to industry operators as well as ongoing strategic cooperation with tourism industry partners; empowering potential niche markets such as the MICE segment, medical tourism, luxury class tourists and expatriate segments;  and rebuilding the airway network that was stopped due to the closure of international borders.

Through these strategies and roadmaps that have been drafted, he said the Tourism Ministry will also provide help to enhance existing tourism products, and explore new potentials for development. 

“Rural tourism development and community-based tourism will be one of the main focus of state tourism development,” Jafry said.-HS

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