KOTA KINABALU: The state government is urged to look beyond China tourists.
Karanan assemblyman Datuk Masidi Manjun said although the government’s efforts in bringing more tourists from China had been successful, it was dangerous to concentrate all its efforts there.
He said the state should also boost domestic tourist numbers.
“I am not asking the state government to stop focusing on the Chinese market, but if the number of Chinese tourists reduce, domestic tourists can fill in the shortfall,” he said at the state legislative assembly sitting yesterday.
He added the Federal Government should allow the state to use tourism tax revenue to boost visitors from other parts of Malaysia.
“If the Federal Government is willing, their share of Sabah’s tourism tax collection can be used to promote domestic tourism.
“The money from the tax can be used to give discounts and for promotion activities to attract Malaysians from other states.”
Masidi added greater effort was needed to reduce the high cost of accommodation and offer preferential rates to Malaysians.
He said although tourism in Sabah was booming, it was vulnerable to external factors and the state government should take precautionary measures. – TheStar