South Korea has been one of the top three market sources for tourism in Sabah since the reopening of Malaysia’s international borders for travellers from all countries, effective April 2022.
According to Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew, from January to September this year, Sabah received nearly 152,000 Korean visitors, an increase of 451.4 per cent compared to the same period of last year.
“Today, Sabah has 23 direct flights weekly from Incheon and Busan to Kota Kinabalu, operated by Jin Air, JejuAir, T’way Air and Air Busan.
“I understand that airlines are increasing their flight frequency for the upcoming winter schedule.
“Also, Sabah will soon receive charter flight service from Incheon to Kota Kinabalu for the winter season,” Liew said in her address at the Appreciation and Networking Luncheon with Korean Industry Players in conjunction with the Sabah Tourism Roadshow in Seoul.
Eight Sabah local trade players are participating in the roadshow.
The Minister noted that Sabah has hosted nearly 2,300 pax Korean incentive groups up to September 2023. “It is recorded as 47.31 per cent of the total Incentive groups hosted by Sabah.”
Liew stressed that as part of Sabah Tourism’s recovery strategies, her Ministry, through the Sabah Tourism Board (STB), has been continuing its effort to regain the market share of the South Korea-Sabah sector by working closely with Airlines and all other stakeholders.
She shared the good news that the Sabah government has announced the launch of the Sabah – Malaysia My Second Home’ programme.
“We have improved the requirements of the programme with a hope that it is more attractive to those wishing to invest their time longer in our State. Further information on this programme can be obtained from the Sabah Tourism Board,” she said.
Liew urged the Korean trade players to take the opportunity to network and explore more business opportunities with their Sabah counterparts.
Liew thanked the Director of Tourism Malaysia Korea (Seoul Office), Shaharuddin Yahya, and his team for their joint collaboration efforts in making this roadshow a success.
“I wish everyone a fruitful meeting, and we look forward to welcoming you and your guests in Sabah,” she added.
Also present were Charge d’ Affaires of the Embassy of Malaysia in the Republic of Korea, Nazarudin Ja’afar, Deputy Permanent Secretary 1 of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Mary Malangking, STB Chief Executive Officer Noredah Othman and Deputy Chief Executive Officer Tay Shu Lan.