Monday, October 21

Sabah popular incentive tourism destination

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Liew (fourth left), flanked by Ko (fourth right) and Sun, with Fiona (second right), Tay (second left), Kenny (left) and others.

TUARAN: Sabah is becoming increasingly popular as a destination for incentive tourism, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew.

She advanced this view after attending the Pearlosophy Incentive Dinner dubbed Diner en Blanc for some 1,000 agents of the cosmetic brand from China, at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, Saturday.

Liew, who is also Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, described their ongoing tour of Sabah (as part of the company’s incentive reward scheme for employees) as a huge success in terms of revenue generation for the State. The tour was arranged by HTC Travel Services (M) Sdn Bhd, Sabah Branch.

“We greatly welcome this type of MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions & Events) tourism package to Sabah.

“Sabah has plenty to offer with lots of sun, sea and sand – you name it, beaches, islands, mountains, rivers, tropical forests, wildlife, seafood and native handicraft.

“We have the best (radiant) sunset in the world, and these tourists really enjoy themselves,” she remarked.

Incentive tourism is designed to help motivate employees to reach a specific business goal or other business-related objectives.

Liew said her Ministry will be working towards having more MICE events in Sabah, adding “The MICE market is a  big money-spinner in the travel industry.”

The Minister is glad that the Pearlosophy contingent will be visiting Tawau and Semporna enroute to Sipadan and Mabul as part of their incentive tour after a five-night stay at the five-star resort.

“I understand they will also spend two nights in Tawau and two nights on Mabul Island.”

According to the tour organisers, they spent about RM6 million on bringing the 1,000 MICE participants (Pearlosophy agents), Astro announcers, artistes from Taiwan and Kuala Lumpur and showbiz equipment to Sabah, hotel accommodation, logistics and the incentive dinner.

“This excludes personal spending. All in, it is estimated to be around RM20 million.”

When interviewed, some of them said they were interested in buying Sabah’s snacks such as dried durian and durian chips. They are expected to snap up bead necklaces, woven fabric goods and baskets as well as other native handcrafted items at the hotel’s Handicraft Market today.

Liew met with the founders of Pearlosophy from Shanghai – Peggy Sun, a beauty entrepreneur who created her own brand in 2015, now a leading luxury beauty and skincare brand, and her husband Steven Ko who founded the make-up brand “Red Earth” in Melbourne, Australia in 1991, an environment-friendly and non-animal ingredients natural make-up product.

“All products are ‘Made with Love’ and created using the highest quality ingredients sourced from all over the  world,” Sun told the Minister.

According to her, the core ingredient of Pearlosophy is extracts from natural pearls, a precious gift from Nature.

“We use advanced effective pearl extracts imported from other countries, together with some  natural plant extracts.”

It was reported that scientists have discovered that Pearls contain more than 20 active ingredients that make the skin youthful and beautiful.

“This (Pearls) is Asian beauty’s biggest secret. As such, Pearlosophy is dedicated to helping women around the world discover their timeless beauty.”

The couple find Sabah an amazing place, prompting them to choose the State as the company’s incentive tourism destination.

On why they chose Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort and Spa, Ko told the General Manager Fiona Hagan that they were impressed with the hotel’s brand credentials (management, good food and facilities).

Meanwhile, Brand Director Jill said she first set foot on Sabah 10 years ago.

“I am back again. Sipadan is a marvellous paradise. We are going scuba diving at Sipadan and Mabul. The founder Peggy loves scuba diving and skiing,” she said excitedly.

Also present were STB Senior Marketing Manager, Tay Shu Lan and HTC Travel Services Sabah Branch General Manager, Kenny Liew.