KOTA KINABALU: The State Government will work closely with tour operators from China to create a win-win situation for both sides in the tourism industry, said Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Pang Yuk Ming.
At present, he said, Sabah has been working with officials and tour operators from China to boost the tourism industry in both places.
Pang said that when meeting with Chongqing Yangtze Gold Cruises Co. Ltd vice general manager She Yangyi, Chongqing Yangtze Gold Cruises Co. Ltd sales and marketing manager Steven Wu and China Travel Service Chongqing general manager Zhu Jie on Wednesday evening.
Also present were Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Limited district sales manager Jimmy Liew, Times Holidays Travel and Tours Sdn Bhd managing director Lawrence Wong and Times Holidays Travel and Tours Sdn Bhd sales manager Lily Chong.
Pang said China was blessed with beautiful scenery and historical sites. Pang himself has visited Chongqing and went onboard Yangtze Gold Cruises that sailed along the Three Gorges last July.
“That was a mesmerizing and memorable experience,” he said.
Pang said Chinese tourists in Sabah should visit the Three Gorges because of its scenic views and historical sites.
Meanwhile, She said a total of 136,000 passengers have gone on board the company’s Yangtze Gold Cruises last year, and that passenger traffic from Sabah and Sarawak was on an upward trend in recent years.
She said Yangtze Gold Cruises was in the top 10 list of the best automobile and ships in China, as well as being the leader in the cruise business along the Three Gorges.
He added that Yangtze Gold Cruise fleet has seven ships that allowed the company to operate daily.
She said since Pang has visited Chongqing and went onboard Yangtze Gold Cruises last year, the latter has assisted in the promotion of the Three Gorges and Gold Cruises, leading to a rise of cruise passengers from East Malaysia.
On the visit to Sabah, She said the aim of the trip was to meet with Pang and local tour operators to strengthen tourism exchanges between Sabah and Chongqing.
She said Pang had informed that Sabah Air Aviation Sdn Bhd (Sabah Air) would be providing chartered flights to four big cities in China, including Chongqing.
Hence, he believed that the cooperation between both sides could be expanded to create a win-win situation.
On another note, She announced that Times Holidays Travel and Tours Sdn Bhd would continue to serve as the East Malaysian representative for Yangtze Gold Cruises as the tour operator has performed well since its appointment last year.