Tourism players from Penang, Sabah and Labuan are looking to create a
consortium to stimulate domestic tourism. The programme was initiated
by Tourism Malaysia via its Sabah office together with its strategic
partners Sabah Tourism Board (STB), Labuan Corporation, and Malaysian
Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Sabah and Labuan chapters.
Under the consortium, Penang agents will promote Sabah and Labuan
destinations to both leisure and corporate travellers as well as MICE
groups. This initiative is aligned with Sabah's and Labuan’s transition
to Phase 4 of Malaysia’s National Recovery Plan. Tourism Malaysia has
created 450 packages to support this strategy.
CMO Tay Shu Lan said that with international borders remaining closed
for now, Penang's tour operators will shift their focus from overseas
tour groups to domestic travel to Sabah.
“There is a lot of demand for domestic tourism for those in the Klang
Valley, Penang and Johor because people still cannot go abroad," says
Tourism Malaysia's Senior Director Iskandar Mirza Mohd Yusof. He hopes
that travellers from Peninsular Malaysia will choose Sabah and Labuan
as their preferred holiday destination with the attractive packages offered.
As Malaysia shifts into an endemic Covid-19 phase, this move could be
seen as a plan to both restore the tourism landscape as well as
recalibrate the industry’s response to host MICE events.
are excited to trial the move to focus on MICE in Sabah and Labuan.
This paves the way for various tourism stakeholders, not just venues and
hotels, to kickstart their operations. I look forward to seeing this
replicated with other states soon," says Muhammad Fuad Abdul Rahman, MD
of Aifar Tours & Vacations Sdn Bhd in Penang.
Adds Executive Chairman Datok Ilyas Zainol Abidin of Malaysia’s Ample
Prospects Sdn Bhd, who works closely with Tourism Malaysia in
implementing hospitality standards, "It doesn’t matter whether they are
leisure or business travellers. Contrary to the perception that tourism
depends on international tourists, it is the domestic travellers who
will revive the industry during these times.”
Sabah stands to further benefit with the resumption of the
Penang-Kota Kinabalu direct flights by Malaysia Airlines since 1
December, and the Sabah government’s decision to do away with the
Covid-19 swab test requirement.