Sabah, Melaka need to work together to promote both states as tourist destinations

KOTA KINABALU, June 23 (Bernama) -- Melaka Tourism, Heritage and Culture Committee chairman Datuk Muhammad Jailani Khamis has called on the Sabah and Melaka state governments to join forces in promoting the two states for tourism.

He said cooperation was very important to rejuvenate the tourism industry which was badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I ask the Sabah government through the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) to assist in promoting tourist destinations in Melaka to the people of Sabah and conversely, Melaka to do the same for Sabah.

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“There are tourist attractions in Melaka that are not available in Sabah, just as there are tourist attractions in Sabah that are not available in Melaka. Therefore, the most logical thing to do is for us to share our experiences and together to organise campaigns on tourism in both states to improve our economic growth," he said. 

He was speaking when launching the Melaka Tourism Niaga Semarak Business Matching session and seminar here today, which was also attended by Sabah Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Joniston Bangkuai.

According to Muhammad Jailani, the seminar was aimed at re-energising the Melaka tourism sector, which was the main contributor to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) before the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Joniston, who is also STB chairman, said the programme was meaningful to both states moving forward as their tourism sectors had endured a challenging period.

“I see the programme as something important for the tourism industry players from Sabah and Melaka to continue sharing expertise and knowledge.

“The programme is timely after the reopening of international borders and the influx of tourists to our country, including to Sabah, is also seen to be increasing. I believe Melaka is also experiencing the same situation," he said.

Therefore, he said it was important for tourism operators who attended the programme to update each other about tourism packages available in their areas, especially new products.

“For STB, we are glad to assist our friends from Melaka to revitalise the tourism sector there. What is important is for us to work together to find strategic ways to encourage tourists from here to go to Melaka and vice versa,”  he added.