KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (SATTA) Dato’ Seri Winston Liaw today denied it has exaggerated the number of China tourists coming to Sabah next year.
He said what he had stated recently was based on facts that an estimated 100,000 Chinese tourists will be arriving in Sabah in the first ten months (Jan-Oct) of next year and the figures was provided by AirAsia East Malaysia (Sabah & Sarawak) commercial general manager Norhayati Aziz Rashid who paid a sales call at his office recently.
“According to Norhayati, the arrival of Chinese tourists from Wuhan to Kota Kinabalu sector was very encouraging where 50 per cent of the available seats has been sold out and 25,000 people has committed or paid upfront,” said Winston in response to a statement by Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Pang Yuk Ming.
Pang claimed that SATTA has made an exaggerated statement which resulted in many hotels getting excited and planned to mark up their room rates next year to take advantage of the situation.
“I think Datuk Pang has misunderstood my statement because the estimated 100,000 Chinese visitors are not only from the Wuhan-Kota Kinabalu sector handled by AirAsia. But the numbers also include a series of chartered flights to be mounted by Airworld Travel Sdn Bhd (about 10,000 passengers) from Changsha, Nanning and Guiyang and an incentive group (about 20,000 passengers),” he explained.-Sayangsabah