KOTA KINABALU: Sabah received 176,130 China tourist arrivals in the first quarter of this year, marking a record of 8.6 per cent growth compared to the previous year, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew.
“China has always been a major source of tourism in Sabah.
“In the first quarter of this year, the Chinese market has achieved a record of 8.6 per cent growth compared to the previous year, setting a record of 176,130 Chinese tourist arrivals,” she said when gracing the welcoming dinner hosted by China-based Moya International as part of its incentive trip for members.
Moya, a manufacturer and retailer of women health, beauty and skincare products, has more than 400,000 members selling the company’s products via the WeChat platform.
The company is bringing in 2,000 people, comprising approximately 1,800 members and their families as well as 200 crew members, in three batches to Sabah from May 5 to 20.
Christina, who is also the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, said there was a lot that could be learned from the co-founders of Moya, Ma Lin and Chen Xue, both being successful female entrepreneurs.
She thanked Moya for actively promoting and selecting Sabah as the destination for its incentive trip.
“We look forward to having Moya back to Sabah with more tourists,” she said.
On another note, she said her ministry, together with the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Kota Kinabalu, would jointly organize the Symphony of Orchestra this coming July to promote the cultural friendship between Malaysia and China through music exchange in conjunction with the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between both countries.
Meanwhile, Ma said the company had chosen Sabah for the incentive trip due to the state’s natural beauty and also because of the good relations between China and Malaysia.
“The trip to Sabah is also in line with the Belt and Road initiative.”
In fact, Ma revealed that she had studied at Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) in Peninsular Malaysia for four years about a decade ago but never got the chance to visit Sabah due to the distance.
She hoped that the company would be able to bring 10 times more members – equivalent to 20,000 tourists, to Sabah in the future.