KOTA KINABALU: Tourism promotion both domestic and international is the main objective of the formation of the Sabah Tourism Federation (STF) pro tem committee.
Launched yesterday, it also aimed to ask as a consultative body and representative of the tourism industry in Sabah its pro tem president Dato’ Seri Winston Liaw.
The office bearers and board members of the committee was introduced to Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Pang Yuk Ming at Airworld Travel Sdn Bhd office in Api-Api centre.
“The government welcome the initiative of the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) involving in tourism to set up this federation to assist us in our task to push forward the agenda of tourism in Sabah,” said Pang, adding the call to set up the federation was mooted last year.
“Now it will be easier for us because we don’t have to deal with so many organisations as they can be represented by the federation and the Tourism Ministry hope more associations will join the federation soon,” called Pang.
With the establishment of STF, he said if there is only policies the government need to adopt or consultation, it will only have to get the consensus from one entity instead of seeking the opinion from each of the associations.
Through the federation, he said the government can work closely with the tourism players and smoothen the process of its administrative work and reduce hiccups.
“I call on tourism associations that have not join the federation to come forward to work together for the benefit of the tourism industry in Sabah,” urged Pang.
The pro tem office bearers of the STF were Dato’ Seri Winston Liaw as president cum chairman of Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents; deputy president Fiona Hagan (chairman of Malaysian Association of Hotels Sabah Chapter); honorary secretary general Christopher Chan (president of Sabah Hotel Association); honorary treasurer general Grace Leong (president of Sabah Tourist Guides Association); deputy honorary secretary general Tony Chew (chairman of Sabah Tourist Association) and deputy honorary treasurer general James Ong (chairman of Malaysia Budget Hotel Association).
The executive board member were Richie Lee (president of Sabah Backpackers Operators Association), Djuanis Mogirong (president of Ssabah Homestay Association), Dabalun Balau (president of Sabah Native Registered Tourist Guide Association) and Robert Chong (chairman of MATTA Sabah chapter).-Sayangsabah.