-The Sabah Tourist Association (STA) has been urged to be proactive in maximizing the economic benefits of Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020).
During a recent courtesy call by a six-strong delegation from the STA, chaired by its President Tonny Chew, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew made the call.
She said that the association can play a useful role by distributing travel brochures, leaflets, newsletter, manual or magazine information about places of interest to visitors, travelers, tour operators, hotels and travel agencies.
"Tourism is undeniably an important growth driver, alongside the oil and gas sector, to boost Sabah's local economy.
Liew, who is also Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Environment, hoped that if tourists encounter problems with travel documents, customs clearance and immigration, accommodation or transportation, the STA would provide the necessary assistance.
In reaction, Chew said promoting tourism and tourism by recruiting visitors and, in particular, encouraging visits to Sabah, was precisely one of the STA's objectives.
He added that STA had also participated in the launch of the Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020 campaign) by Matta. 'Besides, our job is also to advise and support the government, local authorities and others on all matters relating to promotion and growth of tourism, as well as tourism facilities, ' he said.
The President was supported by STA General Secretary Pauline Chin, ex-Committee Members Anne Antah and Valentine G. Willard, Sub-Committee member of Art Tourism & Environment Christianne Goonting, and Yvonne Chew, Sub-Commission Member of Human Capital and Education.
Meanwhile, Chew, who is President of the Tourism Federation of Sabah (STF) as well, said that on 11 July 2017, the Federation had been registered with the intention that Sabah be promoted and put on the market.
"In the first quarter of next year, we will be having our first service," he said. Permanent Secretary to the Ministry Datuk William Baya and the President of the Sabah Tourism Board, Ken Pan Ying On, General Manager Noredah Othman and the Deputy Director of Sabah Parks, Dr Maklarin Lakim were also present.
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