Tourism Ministry sees potential in reviving cruise tourism in Sandakan, Dewan Rakyat hears

By TIN Media | Sabah Published 3 weeks ago on 3 July 2024
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According to Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, there is potential to revitalize the cruise tourism industry in Sandakan, Sabah. He stated during Ministers' Question Time in Parliament on Wednesday, July 3, that early assessments found that Sandakan Port can be made popular to attract tourists, particularly from Europe, with eco-tourism and wildlife the main draws in Sandakan.

 "Other proposed strategies include reactivating the Malaysian Cruise Council that links policymakers and industry players to set industry direction and address any obstacles that stunt the growth of the cruise ship industry," Tiong mentioned. 

Tiong stated that to evaluate the current amenities and promotion suitability, his ministry and Tourism Malaysia conducted a site visit to Sandakan, Sabah, in April.
Tiong added that on May 3, the Transport Ministry had conferred with his ministry and Tourist Malaysia to determine the next course of action for reviving Malaysia's cruise tourist sector.
In response to Vivian Wong (PH-Sandakan), who inquired about the efforts made to transform Sandakan into a cruise destination in Malaysia, Tiong was speaking. 

Subsequently, Wong asked if there were any plans to allow cruise ships at Sandakan to buy more gasoline, since the average cruise ship needs 400 litres per day to function, and the current daily restriction of 100 litres is insufficient.
Tiong retorted that the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry was responsible for the special permit needed to buy more fuel.
However, Tiong continued, "The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture is always willing to work with any other ministry to improve the image of the nation."
Tiong added that cooperation between the federal and state governments was essential for boosting tourism. 

With 26 cruise ships and 37,431 passengers in 2019, Sabah saw the highest number of cruise ship arrivals.
Compared to 17 cruise ships carrying 23,474 passengers in 2017, Sabah received 21 ships carrying 21,738 passengers in 2018.
Sabah received five cruise ships and 9,140 passengers between January and February 2020 


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