SINGAPORE: Sabah will play host to this year’s ADEX Ocean Partnership Summit, further solidifying the state’s reputation as a prominent meeting, incentive, convention, and exhibition (MICE) destination for promoting marine conservation initiatives and sustainable diving tourism. The summit coincides with the Asian Dive Expo (ADEX) that is taking place at Singapore’s Sands Expo and Convention Centre from March 31 to April 2.

Sabah Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Environment cum Chairman of Sabah Tourism Board Datuk Joniston Bangkuai attended the opening of ADEX Singapore and also launched the ADEX Sabah Ocean Partnership Summit 2023. Present were ADEX chief executive officer John Thet; Sabah Tourism Board chief executive officer Noredah Othman; Malaysia dive icon and ADEX diving ambassador Clement Lee; and ADEX Sabah team head Theresa Tham. Organised in partnership with the Sabah Tourism Board, the summit will be held at the Sabah International Convention Centre from August 18-20.

“Sabah is already a popular diving destination and we are committed to the conservation and preservation of our marine ecosystem. This exciting event will support the Sabah government’s ongoing initiatives in ocean conservation and sustainable development,” said Joniston. “The state government has put in place a range of initiatives to protect the marine environment, including marine parks and sanctuaries, strict regulations on fishing and diving, and education programmes to raise awareness about marine conservation. “We look forward to welcoming global ocean community, renowned speakers, professional diving fraternity and attendees, in general, to build a network while sharing ideas and knowledge on the best practice adaptation for the ocean,” he said, adding the event will bolster the state’s diving industry.

While actively pushing Sabah as a preferred travel destination, Joniston said that Sabah Tourism is also shifting its focus to promoting specialised and high-end tourism activities, including scuba diving given that the state has a strong network of professional dive operators offering world-class diving services. He also mentioned Sabah’s capacity for hosting significant events and expressed hope to see Sabah host its very own dive expo in light of the fact that many divers consider Sabah to be a must-dive spot.

Additionally, he said the ADEX Sabah Ocean Partnership Summit provides an excellent platform to showcase not only Sabah’s rich marine biodiversity but also its cultural diversity, giving visitors a chance to experience local culture and cuisine while also taking advantage of diving opportunities. Based on statistics, Sabah recorded 61,796 divers in 2022, bringing in an estimated RM222.8 million in revenue. The figure comprises 6,411 international divers and 55,384 domestic divers. In 2019, Sabah registered 130,604 international divers and 7,145 domestic divers, with a total revenue of RM821 million.



Monday, April 3, 2023

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