KOTA KINABALU/Sept 26: Sabah raked in RM1.4 billion in tourism receipts as of July this year from the arrivals of 857,675 visitors.
The significant increase of 632 per cent, compared to the same period of last year has given Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor the confident that the state can hit the one million mark this year.
He attributed the huge increase to the domestic sector which contributed to 785,123 visitors, an increase of 582 per cent for the same period last year.
“With the reopening of international borders, the number of foreign arrivals recorded a significant growth with 72,552 people, an increase of 3,680 per cent for the first seven months of 2022.
“This is indeed a good sign and slowly but surely, we see visitor arrivals picking up and I am happy that tourism industry players have joined hands with us to push this upward momentum,” he said.
He was speaking at the official opening of the state capital’s latest hotel, the Holiday Inn Express here.
The Chief Minister was also pleased with the air connectivity for both domestic and international which is on the upward trend as Sabah reliant on 96 per cent on air transportation.
Currently, there are 367 domestic flights with 60,162 seat capacity per week to Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, Penang, Kota Bahru, Terengganu, Labuan, Kuching, Miri, Sibu, Bintulu and Mulu.
For the international aviation sector, Sabah is now connected to five international destinations namely Singapore, Bandar Seri Begawan, Incheon, Manila and Bangkok with a total of 39 flights per week and seat capacity of 7,016.
For Holiday Inn Express which has its soft opening in Dec 2020, he said the state want to see the impact is measured not only by the flow of visitors and their resources but also by the opportunity in hiring locals to work here.
As more arrivals are expected into Sabah, the state government is confident that there would be sufficient rooms to meet the demand.
At least 11 new hotels being planned or built and to be completed in the next few years to provide additional 3,500 rooms.
Two new more hotels, Hyatt Centric and Alila Resort will be completed this year.-HS