KOTA KINABALU: There are currently 95 direct flights weekly between Kota Kinabalu and cities in China.
Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Kota Kinabalu, Liang Caide, said Sabah was one of the most popular travel destinations for tourists from China.
“In 2016, 380,000 Chinese tourists visited Sabah. The number of Chinese tourists reached 430,000 in 2017, an increase of 15 per cent compared to 2016.”
He said Chinese tourist arrivals to Sabah would rise to 1 million in the future.
At present, Liang said there were 95 direct flights per week to different cities in China, adding that Xiamen Air just launched a direct route connecting Kota Kinabalu and Beijing on Tuesday.
“I believe there will be more direct flights in the future, which will attract more Chinese tourists to visit this beautiful Land Below the Wind,” he said in a press conference here yesterday.
On another note, Liang said Sabah was strategically located and an important node of the Maritime Silk Road.
“Sabah has diverse culture, beautiful scenery and rich tourism resources.
“Sabah is also the nearest place of Malaysia from China, we are historically and culturally related.”
In recent years, following the advancement of The Belt and Road Initiative, he said more and more Chinese enterprises had set foot in Sabah, while trade and economic cooperation between two places had shown strong vitality and remarkable strength, allowing the people of Sabah to realise the benefit brought by the Belt and Road initiative.
In this respect, Liang said the consulate general would provide assistance and support to the economic and trade cooperation, people-to-people and cultural exchanges and tourism cooperation between China and Sabah.
On the other hand, the consulate general also hosted a gratitude reception for the media after the press conference for paying great attention to the activities of the consulate and giving comprehensive coverage.
He said the consulate general also supported the media in Sabah, such as organizing eight media representatives to visit China last year, supporting the activities of Sabah Journalists Association and Kota Kinabalu Journalists Association.
“Sabah media is professional, dedicated and impartial, contributing to the prosperity and development of Sabah, as well as the China-Malaysia friendly relation.”
He added that the media also played a key role in communicating China’s economic and social development, foreign policy, long history and culture to the people in Sabah.
Also present was Deputy Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Kota Kinabalu, Zhang He.