The Sabah government is steadfast in its efforts to restore and develop the tourism sector, as reflected by the RM134.59 million allocation to the state’s tourism, culture and environment ministry under the 2023 budget.
Chief minister Hajiji Noor said the ministry’s plans for next year include upgrading tourism facilities, human capital development for Community Based Tourism (CoBT), and the setting up of the Sabah Convention Bureau (SCB) which will be operational by next year.
“The SCB will accelerate the growth of the tourism industry through tourism-based business events to make Sabah a preferred destination for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibition/events (MICE) that will generate economic activities for the benefit of the hospitality, logistics, aviation and other related sectors,” he said in his speech at the opening of the World Tourism Conference (WTC) 2022 at the Sabah International Convention Centre here today.
The text of the speech was read out by Sabah local government and housing minister Masidi Manjun, who is also the state’s second finance minister. Hajiji said the conference’s theme “Tourism Futures Reimagined” was timely and apt.
“Since the opening of our borders on April 1, 2022, Malaysia, and Sabah for that matter, have been relentless in our pursuit of speeding up our growth and development, particularly in advancing the tourism sector.
“I am happy to know that in-person participation at this conference will put many heads together to address tourism futures and strategies, as well as drive tourism recovery and resilience post-pandemic,” he said.
According to Hajiji, Sabah’s tourism was the worst affected sector over the past two years. However, he said, the state government did not let up in its efforts to manage the challenges.
“The state government will dispense a good budget to cushion the impact and to ensure the healthy development of our tourism industry seeing that tourism generated the biggest revenue for Sabah pre-pandemic,” he added.
WTC 2022, which ends on Wednesday, is jointly organised by the tourism, arts and culture ministry in partnership with the World Tourism Organisation and the Sabah government.
In its sixth edition this year, the conference brings together 1,000 delegates from more than 60 countries to reconnect and reassess tourism recovery in the aftermath of the global pandemic.
The conference also features some 30 speakers comprising government policy makers, industry leaders and leading academicians.
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