PETALING JAYA, Feb 26 — Yearning for the perfect selfie, Chinese tourists are increasingly choosing Sabah as their vacation destination.
State Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said Sabah’s stunning backdrops and locals’ ability to speak Chinese dialects made the Chinese nationals more “at home” during the Lunar New Year, reported the South China Morning Post.
“We are unique because we are ‘the best Malaysians’. We don’t have any problem with racial harmony and a lot of the non-Chinese here speak Chinese,” Masidi was quoted as saying.
“This gives a lot of confidence to the Chinese tourists because they feel they are at home. We speak the language but we don’t have the crowds or traffic jams and we have the cleanest air in Malaysia.
“Our beautiful scenery and islands make it perfect for their favourite activity: taking selfies.”
SCMP reported that Chinese visitors to Sabah were increasing, with the East Malaysian state now in the top 10 of destinations for the 6.5 million Chinese nationals holidaying abroad during the Lunar New Year.
Last year, 431,000 Chinese nationals visited Sabah, accounting for 35 per cent of all arrivals in the state and 75 per cent higher compared to 2015.
“We are getting a lot more of the cosmopolitan types,” Masidi said of Sabah.
“They speak some basic English, they are younger, and they know exactly what they want from the holiday so they just travel on their own without tour groups.”
In Kota Kinabalu, the top three attractions listed by Chinese visitors were “viewing natural scenery”, “relaxing by the beach” and “shopping”, according to surveys.
Air connectivity is also highlighted as a reason more of its people are heading to East Malaysia. Out of 186 international flights into Sabah each week, 86 are from China.
Masidi called on private investors and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to take advantage of the tourism boom and pump more money into the state.
Source : Malay Mail Online