Sabah in Malaysia is enjoying a tremendous rise in tourism as it is in boon as it is considered as a tropical mecca for over a half a million holidaying Chinese every year. Event the recent string of diving and snorkelling tragedies that took place off late has not shaken the enthusiasm of people travelling aboard. Although there is some downfall if international tourists are to be considered.
Nearly 600,000 Chinese tourists visited the eastern Malaysian state last year, according to the Sabah Tourism Board. The state’s tourism minister, Christina Liew, credited Chinese visitors for Sabah’s snowballing tourism success for their interest and tourism gather in Sabah. At the launch of a new China-built luxury yacht in the capital Kota Kinabalu in late July, she has mentioned the same.
She added, “The acceleration of tourism development in the state in recent years somewhat coincides with the increase in the number of Chinese tourists visiting Sabah every year,”.
Chinese tourists look at wildlife from boats on the Kinabatangan River, Sabah, Malaysia. There are fears that the Chinese tourism boom in Sabah may end up doing more harm than good.
Sabah is home to thousands of species, including orangutans and proboscis monkeys, as well as carnivorous pitcher plants and stinky parasitic Rafflesia flowers that grow up in the place seeking a lot of visitors to get mesmerised into the wide range of flora and fauna that the place has to offer.
With the new direct flights to the state from Beijing, Xiamen, Fuzhou, Wuhan, Shenzhen, Macau and Kunming, more tourists and travellers are awaiting. With the increase in the number of flights, it seems the state’s tourism boom has only just begun.
Veteran operator Tham Yau Kong, founder of TYK Adventure Tours warns saying “Mass tourism will destroy the industry,”. Indeed, many in the tourism industry now consider the biggest threat in Sabah to be a flood of too many visitors, raising serious questions about sustainability and the difficulties of handling large numbers of tourists.
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