Mohamaddin said the tourism sector was on the right track.
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah was one of nine states and two federal territories that recorded an increase hotel guests in the first quarter of the year.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi said there was a 0.9% increase in guests staying in the state as compared with the first three months of 2018.
Sabah was one of five top states in terms of receiving hotel guests, along with Kuala Lumpur, Pahang, Johor and Penang.
Mohamaddin said overall, during the period, the number of hotel guests increased by 0.18%, to 18.33 million during the first three months of this year compared with 18.30 million in the same period last year.
He said the surge was the result of efforts by the government and agencies involved including the private sector in promoting tourism products nationwide.
He added that it was an indicator that the tourism sector was now on the right track and the hike was prompted by continuous promotion efforts abroad and the work of local (tourism) industry activists to promote the national tourism products.
‘’The increase recorded was not only contributed by domestic but also foreign tourists, ’’ he said after paying a courtesy call on Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal at his office.
During the meeting, Mohamaddin and Mohd Shafie shared ideas on tourism promotion plans in Sabah and the rest of the country.
Mohamaddin said if measured from the hotel guests’ data, Sabah recorded 1.71 million tourists in the first quarter of this year compared with 1.68 million during the same period last year.
His ministry would identify new products which could be highlighted to help in an increase in tourists that did not focus on hotel service but the tourism sector as a whole.
On the drop in hotel guests in several states, he said that the figures were expected to go up in the second quarter.-bernama.