KOTA KINABALU: Chinese tourists are expected to return to Sabah when the republic’s airline, China Eastern Airlines agreed to to increase the flight to Kota Kinabalu from the current three flights to five per week.
More than 90 percent of Chinese tourists who use the airline service also encourage the company to utilize bigger plane to accommodate the increasing number of passengers.
According to the state Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Datuk Masidi Manjun, said the positive development will once again boost the tourism sector in Sabah this year.
“I was personally informed by China Eastern Airlines Manager that they will use bigger planes to accommodate more passengers from the country who want to visit Sabah,” he said to the media during the Aidilfitri Open House of his ministry at Penampang Cultural Centre.
Masidi said the number of Chinese tourist from the republic has declined 50 percent last year following several incidents that also involve security issues.
However, he explained that the decline had not seriously affected the tourism sector since the influx of Korean and Japanese visitors are encouraging thanks to the efforts by the Sabah Tourism Board which has developed the industry in the state West Coast as an alternative.
When asked about AirAsia’s decision to keep its operation at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT), Masidi said the matter needs to be solved between AirAsia and Malaysia Airport Berhad.
“There are pro and con for AirAisa to stay (at the terminal), but whether they will be able to handle their passengers… Unless they upgrade the terminal facility.
“For the state government, whatever the decision that has been made, if it is good for the tourism industry, we will support fully,” he added. -SayangSabah