95% of tourism workforce are Sabahans – Satta

Liaw (fifth right) presenting the Satta Almanac 2016 to Wong.

Liaw (fifth right) presenting the Satta Almanac 2016 to Wong.

KOTA KINABALU: Tourism is the only industry in which Sabahans comprise 95 per cent of the workforce, said Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Satta) president Datuk Seri Winston Liaw.

Liaw said the tourism industry had become the pillar of the State’s economy and tourism-related businesses had benefitted people of all races, including the Chinese, Kadazan, Dusun, Murut and Malay who worked in hotels, restaurants, massage centres, souvenir shops, shopping malls or as taxi drivers.

Furthermore, Liaw said the Sabah Tourist Guide Association and Sabah Bumiputera Tourist Guide Association have a combined membership of 1,300 guides.

He said Sabah had achieved its target of 3.2 million tourist arrivals this year and was aiming to achieve 4 million arrivals next year.

“We believe the target of 4 million tourist arrivals can be achieved provided nothing happens, such as abductions and kidnappings.

“We also urge the Health Department to carry out stringent control on (tourist) arrivals,” Liaw said during the handing-over of Satta Almanac 2016 to the Sabah State Library here yesterday, in accordance with the Sabah State Library Enactment 1988 (Amendment) 2007 to collect and preserve printed and non-print library resources published in Sabah.

Satta has contributed 15 copies to the State Library and five copies to the national library.

The Satta Almanac 2016, launched in Chongqing, China on March 3 this year and later in Kota Kinabalu on June 18, took a mere four months to complete.

Liaw said the Satta took the initiative to publish the almanac as there was no book written in Mandarin to promote the tourist attractions in Sabah despite the increasing arrival of Chinese tourists.

As such, he said the Satta Almanac 2016 was written in Mandarin with brief English translations.

Moving on, he said Satta would embark on publishing its second almanac, which would focus on the food and cultures in Sabah next year.

Satta was established in 1993 and currently has 67 members.

Meanwhile, Sabah State Library director Wong Vui Yin said three copies of the almanac would be kept in the depository for future references while the remaining copies would be distributed to its branches in Suria Sabah, Tanjung Aru, Urban Transformation Centre (UTC), Penampang, Sandakan, Tawau and Keningau.

Wong said the State Library encouraged individuals, associations and non-governmental organizations to come up with their own local publications.

“We want more people to come up with publications because it reflects the society as a whole.”

According to the State Library Bibliography, Wong said the library had received 486 titles of local publication in 2010, followed by 298 and 365 titles in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

Wong said the statistics of local publications was considered low and he hoped to see between 500 and 1,000 local works being published annually.