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Saturday, December 21, 2013
Masidi: Kota Kinabalu must work hard to justify status
KOTA KINABALU: The listing of Kota Kinabalu as among the top destinations in Asia by a well-known travel website is a blessing and a challenge for the Sabah tourism industry.
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said the TripAdvisor recognition also spoke volumes of the efforts to transform the state capital into an international destination of choice.
He said further efforts to promote Kota Kinabalu as a travel destination were now made easier with the city’s listing in TripAdvisor 2013 Travellers Choice Awards for Destinations on the Rise.
Such a recognition brought with it benefits and challenges to maintain and justify this newfound status, he told The Star. “It means tourism players will have to work harder to improve the overall quality of services that they offer to our visitors,” said Masidi.
He said the recognition was bound to spur those considering to invest in tourism-related projects, especially high-end resort hotels which had been found lacking in Sabah. “I am confident that the best is yet to come for the tourism industry in Sabah,” Masidi added.
TripAdvisor had ranked Kota Kinabalu as sixth in the list of destinations on the rise for Asia, capping a good year for the city based on other travel lists previously released.
The awards highlight 54 spots globally that have seen the greatest increase in positive traveller feedback and traveller interest, year on year. Havana in Cuba was the number one ranked destination for the top 10 in the world, and lists were also revealed for Asia, South Paci-fic, Europe, South America and the United States.
Topping the Asian list was Kathmandu (Nepal) followed by Sapporo (Japan), Hanoi (Vietnam), Siem Reap (Cambodia), Hua Hin (Thailand), Sanur (Indonesia), Macau (China), Jaipur (India) and Busan (South Korea).