KOTA KINABALU: Some 430,000 tourists from China visited Sabah last year and contributed more than RM1 billion in tourism receipts, with an average spending of over RM 2,500 per person.
Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Kota Kinabalu, Liang Caide said around 60,000 Chinese tourists spent their Chinese New Year holidays in Sabah this year.
“Sabah has become one of the most popular travel destinations for Chinese tourists.
“There are more than 100 direct flights connecting Kota Kinabalu to various cities in China every week.”
At the same time, Liang said the number of Sabahans visiting China for business, tourism, visiting friends and relatives had increased.
“Last year, the Consulate General issued 25,000 Chinese visas,” he said at the Chinese New Year celebration organized by Kota Kinabalu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KKCCCI) here yesterday.
Liang said the cooperation between China and Sabah had created vast opportunities.
“More and more China firms have ventured into infrastructure development, hotel and residential property development, durian plantation and various other projects in Sabah.”
He said the prospect was bright for exchanges and cooperation between Sabah and China in the future.
On another note, Liang said KKCCCI was one of the oldest Chinese associations in Sabah, with a history of over a century.
He hoped KKCCCI members would seize the opportunities arising from the Belt and Road development and continue to contribute towards the cooperation between Malaysia and China.
Meanwhile, KKCCCI president Datuk Michael Lui Yen Sang urged his members to utilize the chamber as a platform to consolidate and share resources in order to boost their competitiveness in the business arena.
Lui believed that a change in mindset was vital to keep up with the changing business trends and avoid being left out.
He said KKCCCI played a role as the bridge of communication between the government and the business sector.
As such, he said the chamber would continue to convey to the government key issues affecting the community and seek rectification on administrative deviations on behalf of the Chinese community and businesses.
Lui also said the chamber remained committed in promoting Chinese education and culture.
Additionally, he urged members to put more efforts into transforming KKCCCI into one of the most influential business organizations in the state.
He said the establishment of the chamber was to promote cooperation and collaboration among members, as well as to facilitate economic development and inculcate loyalty to the state and nation.
He said chamber members should actively participate in nation building and social development of our country.
“We pledge to continue our full support and assistance to the government in economic development and the promotion of unity and harmony among the ethnic groups.
“We are committed to work hand in hand with the government to ensure continuous political stability, economic progress and prosperity.”
On another note, Lui said the Chinese consulate had been actively promoting friendship between Malaysia and China since its inception.
He said Malaysia and China had established a comprehensive strategic partnership and now the bilateral relationship between both countries was the best in history.
Lui said the chamber would continue to render its cooperation and support to Liang to create a mutually beneficial and win-win outcome for both places.