Lee Chong Wei global appeal can woo tourists to Sabah, especially from traditional China market

KOTA KINABALU, Oct 28-In reference to the appointment of badminton legend Datuk Lee Chong Wei as Sabah Tourism Ambassador, the Sabah Tourism Board acknowledges the views of several quarters who have voiced disapproval over his appointment.

The Sabah Tourism Board, appreciate our local talents and have always engaged with local influencers to promote Sabah tourism both domestically and globally, said Sabah Tourism Board, Chief Executive Officer Noredah Othman.

“China is Sabah’s top market source and the Sabah Tourism Board is continuing its promotional efforts to entice Chinese tourists to visit the state, especially post-pandemic.

“In the past, the Sabah Tourism, Culture, and Environment Ministry had appointed Sabah-born Malaysian professional golfer Ben Leong as our golfing ambassador. That was at the height of our promotions to encourage more golfers into Sabah,” said Noredah.

Similarly, the Ministry had also engaged with renowned Malaysian singer and Kota Belud-born artiste Gary Chaw as Tourism Ambassador to promote Sabah to his fans in China.

For the same reason, she said the Sabah Tourism Board views Lee’s appointment as a significant step forward to further boost our tourism. We believe Lee’s position as a respected social and global influencer will help create curiosity as well as interest in the many attractions in Sabah among his followers, especially from China, she said.

Except for costs incurred for logistical arrangements when he visits places of interest for promotional purposes, Lee’s appointment as tourism ambassador comes with no fee. We are thankful and fortunate that the former World No. 1 badminton player has kindly agreed to be our tourism ambassador and for us to ride on his global popularity to lure more visitors into Sabah, she said.

The Sabah Tourism Board looks forward to collaborating with Lee to experience Sabah destinations, lifestyle, and culture as a non-local domestic visitor.-HS

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