To revitalize the tourism industry, the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) is collaborating with Tourism Malaysia.
State Assistant Tourism, Culture, and Environment Minister Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said both agencies intend to bring Sabah industry players to Penang and the Klang Valley for business-to-business meetings for the domestic market
When interstate travel restrictions are lifted, he said, such efforts will be enforced.
"In terms of the international sector, STB maintains good ties with Tourism Malaysia offices in targeted markets, with many projects to be carried out even though international borders are still closed," said Joniston, who is also the chairman of STB.
He went on to say that STB and Tourism Malaysia will collaborate tomorrow to host the Sabah Asean Webinar, which will include agents from Singapore, Brunei, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, and Cambodia.
The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA), the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), the Sandakan Tourism Association (STAN), and the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) will all be in attendance to develop business relationships with agents from across the Asean zone.
A live video streaming event with Alibaba Group's travel-services platform Fliggy and Tourism Malaysia Shanghai will take place in May, according to Joniston, to launch interesting tourist destinations in Sabah.
"A Taste of Malaysia Staycation" will be held at Hotel Jen in Hong Kong next month as part of a partnership with Tourism Malaysia Hong Kong.
"During the promotion, a variety of Malaysian dishes will be introduced to entice tourists to learn more about fascinating destinations in Malaysia, like Sabah," he said.
The following month, Tourism Malaysia Singapore will host a virtual business-to-consumer event at which five industry players will be invited to demonstrate their goods.
STB is also collaborating with Tourism Malaysia Singapore and Have Halal Will Travel media through publication of online articles.
"Apart from these initiatives, STB is in discussion with Tourism Malaysia from time to time to continue the efforts to promote the tourism industry effectively, especially with international borders remaining close.
"Although tourism promotion in Sabah is currently focused on targeting locals, we are still carrying out overseas promotion for the purpose of creating destination awareness.
"This year's ongoing promotions include the SABAHDeeKhrap campaign for the Thai market, and we've started promoting Sabah destinations on Naver, Kakao, and Intagram for the Korean market."
He also expressed hope that the tourism industry will rebound as a result of global vaccination campaigns.
"In the current situation, the government allows domestic travel by zone as a step towards the recovery of the tourism sector. Hotels and tourist spots are back in operation and the response from locals is very encouraging.
"Indeed, domestic travel is the best way to revive the state tourism industry. It is hoped that the relaxation for inter-district travel according to zones to some extent will help industry players to start operating again.
"While remaining vigilant, society also needs to play a role in activating the tourism sector and mobilising our economy. The development of this industry can be reactivated with cooperation between government, tourism industry players, and the community," he added.
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