Former world no.1 Lee Chong Wei is appointed Sabah Tourism Ambassador

Former world no.1 Lee Chong Wei appointed Sabah Tourism Ambassador

KOTA KINABALU, Oct 27-Former world’s no.1 badminton champion and a national hero Datuk Lee Chong Wei has agreed to take the role of Sabah Tourism Ambassador from October 2021 to December 2022. 

Lee, a Penangite was chosen for this role because of his global reputation through his remarkable performance in the international arenas, winning trophies as well as fans around the world especially in the Asean region, Asia-Pacific, China, Japan, South Korea, Denmark and the UK.

“These countries that are part of Sabah’s traditional market, and major contributors to tourism arrivals to Sabah pre covid-19,” said Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin who presented the appointment letter to Chong Wei at Sutera Harbour Resort here. 

“This is certainly great news to all and a promising outlook for the tourism industry. With his outstanding accomplishment, the Ministry of Tourism is confident that Lee’s role as Tourism Ambassador will help propel the state’s tourism industry to greater heights in the next two years,” said Jafry. 

Sabah is known for its natural wonders and internationally recognized conservation efforts such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site and Man and the Biosphere program and soon to be recognized as the UNESCO Global Geopark, he said.

The unique geographical landscape in Sabah also draws many adventure seekers to the state. To complement Lee, he said the Sabah Tourism Board will bring him and his family around the state to experience our iconic tourism attraction for him to share with his fans all over the world.

“I heard that Datuk Lee is still active in sporting activity especially cycling. Perhaps he can also cycles around our rural tourism areas that offers relaxing cycling experience with picturesque sceneries,” Jafry suggested.

Having said that, indeed, such cooperation with Tourism Ambassadors will serve to help encourage tourism flow into the state and create curiosity as well as interest about the many destinations in Sabah, he said.

He congratulated Lee for being conferred the Justice of Peace award by the Sabah government yesterday by Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin.

To help the tourism sector in Sabah, especially accommodation providers, whom had been greatly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, he said the State Cabinet has agreed to give a subsidy or rebate on  electricity bill for a period of six months, from January to June 2021.

Monthly rebate for 5-and 4-star hotels is RM15 thousand or 30 per cent whichever is lower; for 3-and 1-star, the rebate is 30 per cent of their electricity bill up to RM3,000, whichever lower; and for orkid and unrated accommodation the rebate is 30 per cent of their bill up to RM600 whichever lower. The rebate will be disbursed through Sabah Tourism Boards.

This is part of the state recovery roadmap in rejuvenating the tourism industry in Sabah. As you are all aware, Tourism is one of the core elements in the Sabah Maju Jaya development plan, he said.

“It is our hope that this initiative would give our tourism players the competitive edge and at the same time provide consumers attractive offers to motivate them to select Sabah as their choice of holiday destination,” he said.

Jafry is looking forward to a fruitful cooperation with Lee as this is the latest state government initiative coupled with the strong support from newly elected tourism ambassador and other efforts and collaborations, he believe they have the right ingredients to revive the tourism industry.-HS

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