First 10 days of intrusion saw 35pc drop in Sabah tourist arrivals’

Kota Kinabalu

First 10 days of intrusion saw 35pc drop in Sabah tourist arrivals’

The first 10 days of Lahad Datu intrusion saw a 35 per cent drop in tourist arrivals to Sabah, said Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen. She added that 800 tourists had cancelled their hotel bookings in Kota Kinabalu, Tawau, Sandakan since the intrusion on Feb 12.

“This goes to show that peace and stability are important aspect of a nation especially in the tourism industry.We are thankful that our security forces are striving to retain our country’s sovereignty as we should not take peace and tranquility of our country for granted,” she said. She said the incident reflects on the fragility and vulnerability of the tourism industry which was affected by the incident.

Dr Ng also gave an assurance Sabah was safe. “I was in Lahad Datu a few days ago and I can assure you Sabah is still safe as only a small area of Sabah is affected,” she added. She said her ministry has taken numerous effort in restoring Sabah’s popularity among tourists as a famous travel destination. Among them was the annual water boat competition in Sabah.

Dr Ng was speaking at the launch of the 4th Malaysia International Shoe Festival (1MISF) at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here. In her speech, she said the ministry wanted to put Malaysia ‘on the map’ among other famous shoes designer countries such as Germany and Italy.

“Apart from that, we want to create a platform for industry players to promote their respective brands to the world.” She added that the festival would serve as a stepping stone for the young designers to showcase their ideas and invention and also to get world recognition.

The 1MISF that will end on March 31 and organised by Malaysian Footwear Manufacturers Association (MFMA) targets 60,000 local and foreign visitors to the festival. Themed ‘1Malaysia – Walking Unity, Sole of the Nation, 1MISF features over 190 local and international brands including Fiorucci, Snowfly, Larrie, Verns, Geox, and Alfio Rado targeting RM8 million in sales.

Among the exciting activities were Shoe Fashion Show, Wellness Corner, Young Designer Corner and Malaysia Footwear Design Competition. Also present were Tourism Ambassador and internationally-renowned shoe maker Prof Datuk Dr Jimmy Choo and Malaysian Footwear Manufacturers Association (MFMA) president Tony Ting.

Source: The New Straits Times – http://www.nst.com.my/latest/first-10-days-of-intrusion-saw-35pc-drop-in-sabah-tourist-arrivals-1.243607

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