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Sabah, The Rising STAR of TOURISM



WHAT was the fine and exceptional description given to Sabah during the International Conference of The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) held in the State Capital recently?

Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, who was one among the guest of honour attending the conference considered Sabah as “The Rising Star of Malaysia’s Tourism Industry (MTI), one among the country’s most beautiful tourists destination, which serves as the Eastern hub for Malaysian Airlines accessible to foreign tourists from all over the world.

Dr Ng was also quoted as saying “That is why we chose Sabah as co-host of this World Tourism Conference not only for its beauty but due to the dynamism of its Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and Tourism Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun”. (Daily Express 5th October 2010)
Amazingly, without doubts, this is one of the contributing factors instrumental in bringing forth the Nation with the Status Quo to be one among the Top 10 in the International list.
The UNWTO Secretary-General, Mr Taleb Rifai, while commenting on the successful outcomes of Malaysia’s Tourism Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen ‘s bilateral meeting with her counterparts was quoted as saying, “Now that Malaysia is in the Top 10 world destination list it is time to move to the international stage as a provider of knowledge and experience for countries in the industry. I think the fact that there’s a clear political will to acknowledge support and upstage tourism as a major economic sector within the economy was very much clear with the presence of the Deputy PM.”
The conference which wa declared open by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and attended by 500 delegates comprising among them ministers from Brunei, Chad, Gabon, Papua New Guinea, Sudan, Timor Leste, Nepal, Laos & Swaziland.
The Sub-Continent of Asia, where Malaysia is geographically located has indicated a firm prospect for recovery in the international tourism that has been a driving force regionally, thus turning it as the second frequented or most visited region globally at present .
Statistically, the total numbers of international tourist arrivals within the Asian region has reached the 181 million mark, which is approximately 21 per cent of the world total generating US$ 204 Billion of the tourism turnover, making up 24 per cent of the worldwide gross in 2009.
In Malaysia, the tourism industry has been maintaining sustainable growth over the past ten years, DPM Muhyiddin is optimistic that the country could attain the target of 24 million prospective tourist into the country this year, based upon last year’s achievement with records of 7.9 million tourists arrivals and collected RM 12.3 Billion in receipts.
Generally, the Tourism Industry which is potentially seen as a key to spear head the country‘s economic growth, comprised one among the 12 National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) under the 10th Malaysian Plan specifically designed aiming at transforming the country into a high income nation, thereby giving the government of the day, the mechanism to optimise its potential in support of the New Economic Model (NEM).
The encapsulation of the NKEA initiative in the Tourism Transformation Plan is specially set for a target to attract 36 million tourists so as to get a revenue of about RM 168 billion by 2020.
In order to attain this objective, under the NKEA initiative, a variety of relevant themes had been identified which include business tourism, nature adventure, affordable luxury, entertainment, family fun, event sport and spa etc, thereby setting the framework for the physical development of the industry in question upon having consider the requirements and demands of the various market segments, especially in attracting the high- spending tourists .
At the World Tourism Conference , CM Datuk Seri Musa Aman emphasised that his administration is fully aware of the significant roles in protecting the environment hoping to keep on attracting tourists to Sabah’s natural destinations as the tourism sector which contributes economic spin off in the current growth initiative via projects under the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC).
Musa said, “As a State that is home to some of the most unique flora and fauna, beautiful landscapes ranging from the sea to the rainforests and mountains and a rich mixed of cultures, Sabah has a variety of tourism products on offer for travellers with different needs. Those who enjoy eco destinations and tourists who want to rough it out by seeking adventure find that Sabah is the right choice. Aside from our nature based products , this conference also gives Sabah the opportunity to showcase the state as a destination for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions or MICE.”
The Tabin Wildlife Reserve which is located within The Lahad Datu District and engulfs an vast area of 120,500 hectares of dipterocarp rainforest with mystifying biodiversity is a case in point. The Forest Area in question has been specially reserved as the breeding grounds for wild life and bird including the highly endangered Sumatran Rhino, Tembadau and Borneo Pygmy Elephant.
At the Core Area, the spectacular views of the towering trees and the crystal clear rivers truly caters an ideal habitat for wildlife and birds in the virgin forest, which is accessible by jungle trekking expeditions covering a distance of 23 Kilometres. A number of Foreign Tourists have made adventurous sojourn to this specific natural attracting spot with some tokens, as something to remember back home.
The best gifts of nature found within The Tabin Wildlife Reserve comprises The Mud Volcanoes with high concentration of minerals and the Salt Springs that is also known as ‘The Salt Lick’ dotted with numerous foot prints or tracks of wild animals frequenting that spots at a particular time.
Tabin Wildlife Resort is one fine example, whereby the Concept of Eco-Tourism has widely being developed as lucrative Investment in the Tourism Industry.
The contribution made by our State leaders to materialise the concept of Investment Diversification in several viable economic sectors including Tourism would make every Malaysian in Sabah even more proud one day in the event that the breakeven point is achieved with outstanding results despite strings of baseless accusation are hurled against CM Musa ‘s Administration by disgruntled opposition leaders in the State.
The wisdom of a Western Philosopher, Edward Garner who defined the greatness of a man, “It’s not what you take but what you leave behind that defines greatness.”
Let us hope that what has been in stored by our State leaders at present will bear fruits for our young generations to see in the coming decades.

Resource from: http://www.sabahkini.net/

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