Monday, July 22

Labuan needs more tourism products

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LABUAN: The tourism sector here needed to offer more tourism products to attract visitors to the island, said Labuan Airport manager Muhammad Yusran Hakkam.

He said the island’s location, which is between Kota Kinabalu and Miri, both with well-known tourism products, made the island face difficult challenges in developing its tourism sector.

“I am not blaming the tourism industry here, but we need to try new tourism products to fulfill the people’s aspirations and to see more flights carrying tourists or visitors here.

“The main constraint to have more flights here is because of the low number of passengers coming here,” he told The Borneo Post yesterday.

Yusran admitted that not many activities could be done here as compared to Kota Kinabalu and Miri.

“Sabah tourism industry is really active, plus the state is a MAS hub.”

When asked about international flights to Labuan, he acknowledged that none had landed here since the 90s.

The only international flights back in the 90s were those of Royal Brunei Airlines before the company discontinued its operation here.

“Royal Brunei aeroplanes are too big for our airport traffic and the company suffered losses due to the shortage of passengers,” he said.

He disclosed that the highest passenger movement at Labuan Airport were 690,000 passengers for the whole of 2003, while the figure were 510,000 passengers last year.

He expects the figure this year to remain the same as last year.