Saturday, August 8

Boosting tourism attractions for ‘timid’ travellers – Masidi


KOTA KINABALU: Tourism attractions in West Coast Sabah will be boosted to cater for the ‘timid’ travelers in the state.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun said many were confused and were forgetful of the fact that Sabah encompassed 22 per cent of Malaysia’s total geographical area.

When unfortunate events happened in East Cost Sabah like Sandakan and Tawau, which is some 40 to 50 minutes away by flight from Kota Kinabalu, it is likened to an event happening between the span of Perlis and Johor state, he pointed out.

“Through my observation, currently tourism industry investors have a tendency to be in the West Coast because we actually have the attractions, beaches that are more beautiful in Kudat, Kota Belud, Kuala Penyu and so on,” said Masidi when officiating the Borneo Safari Sabah International Offroad Challenge at the Sabah Tourism Board building on Gaya Street here yesterday.

“What we are building or developing now is the choice for the ‘timid’ who are afraid to go to the East Coast, so they have goals and still feel fortunate to come to Sabah because there are attractions available on the West Coast.

“But remember, in spite of all the hyped safety issues, resorts in Semporna islands are still full. So for me, that is actually a manifestation of the true position. If the resorts are full on the East Coast, it means people who come haven’t the slightest doubt about the safety level over there,” the minister emphasized.

Masidi reiterated the people have to accept the reality that no nation can give a 100% guarantee of the safety of its respective countries and that shootings still happen in the safe America, France and Belgium, for example.

“Sabah has never stated that it is safe. We are safe but from time to time, indeed, incidents that are beyond our control happens,” he said.

“So if I can deduce, Sabah is safe to the extent of the term ‘within our control’,” concluded the minister.