Sabah earns RM3mil at KL’s Matta Fair

Sabah’s tour companies and hotels reaped nearly RM3 million in sales at the recent three-day Matta Fair in Kuala Lumpur.

Assistant Tourism, Culture, and Environment Minister cum Sabah Tourism Board Chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai highlighted Semporna as the most sought-after destination.

He added that the Sabah tourism team also observed strong interest in nature-based attractions such as Sandakan and Lahad Datu, with encouraging bookings on the Danum Valley excursion – one of the world’s oldest rainforests.

He emphasised that Sabah’s image as a “healing destination” appealled to visitors as it reflected the state’s close connection to natural beauty, tranquil islands, and thrilling adventures.

“It is essential that all key tourism players maintain momentum and foster creativity and innovation in promoting Sabah to domestic tourists.

“Attracting domestic tourists requires continuous evolution in strategies to keep Sabah top-of-mind for travellers,” said Joniston, who led the Sabah Tourism team at the 2024 Matta Fair.

The fair’s success also demonstrated Sabah’s versatility in catering to various leisure preferences, as seen by the selling of golf packages by tour operators.

With a strong presence of 26 Sabah tour operators, including one at the Tourism Malaysia pavilion and two participating hotels, the Matta Fair presented an excellent opportunity to showcase Sabah’s diverse tourism products to a large audience.

Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan, accompanied by tourism officials, also stopped by the Sabah Tourism booth to check out its offering.

In the event, the Sabah Tourism Board led the Sabah zone with 10 booths, offering a travel rebate, ‘Token Rehat Minda’, worth up to RM 150 in a single receipt made from a purchased Sabah tour package.

Present at the Matta Fair were the State Tourism Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Josie Lai and Sabah Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer Julinus Jeffrey Jimit.

On the sidelines of the Matta Fair, Julinus also met with airlines and key tourism players from the peninsula.

This engagement highlights the Sabah tourism’s ongoing commitment to fostering strategic partnerships and enhancing opportunities for growth and collaboration.

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