Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Enough Room in Sabah for Tourists

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government has dismissed any notion that the state is ill-prepared to accommodate an anticipated increase in tourism arrivals with the onset of Visit Malaysia Year 2007.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat said the question of a hotel-room shortage in the city should not arise as there were numerous attractions around Sabah and tourists were encouraged to visit them.

“The east coast Sandakan and Lahad Datu districts are gateways to some of the best wildlife attractions Sabah has to offer,” he said in an interview.

Chong, the state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, said promotion efforts for attractions in these east coast districts as well as those in the interior of the state began more than a year ago.

“The feedback for our efforts have so far been positive. We anticipate visitors will want to spend part of their time during their stay in Sabah in the other districts,” he added.

He said this when asked to comment on concerns voiced by Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor who said that Sabah, particularly Kota Kinabalu, may not have enough rooms to cater for increased tourist arrivals next year.

Tengku Adnan said his ministry was trying to sort out the matter by diverting tourists to other states, including Sarawak.

He said the situation was an eye-opener for his ministry on the need for more hotels, particularly budget-type accommodation.

Source : STAR
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