The hospitality and tourism industry has remained as a key income-generating sector for Sabah, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.
He said the state government was working hard to provide the best economic stimuli to boost the industry for it to remain viable for many more years to come.
“The state government will continue its commitment to the hospitality and tourism sector by allocating funds in the state budget.
“The Sabah Tourism Master Plan aims, among others, to improve the infrastructure for accessibility to all tourism spots and air connectivity into major airports throughout the state,” he said in his speech at the 19th Asian Tourism International (ATI) College convocation ceremony in Kota Kinabalu, today.
Musa said the state government also continued to pursue the vision of Kota Kinabalu acting as a centre for international meetings and conferences.
He said the state-of-the-art Kota Kinabalu International Convention City, to be completed soon, would transform this vision into reality, and would further boost Sabah’s tourism industry and create even more job opportunities.
On security and the impact it periodically has on the tourism sector, Musa said the government continued to undertake the best possible security measures to keep Sabah safe both for locals and visitors.
At the convocation ceremony, 250 ATI College students received their diplomas and pre-diploma and skills certificates in culinary, hospitality and tourism management.
Also present were Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, Datuk Masidi Manjun and ATI College executive chairman and chief executive officer, Datuk Seri Wong Khen Thau.
Wong, in his speech, said ATI College fully supported the state government in making Sabah a leading tourism destination, and it was also aware that continued supply of skilled professional manpower was needed for the hospitality and tourism industry.
He said ATI College had, among others, introduced a new programme called School Tourism Outreach Programme or STOP, which adopted secondary schools throughout Sabah with the main aim of empowering the schools and its students to bring about economic change through the tourism products in their respective districts.
“This programme aims to eventually retain rural youths to become entrepreneurs in their own district. We are inculcating a tourism culture concept among the rural community,” he added.
Source : Sabah Kini