SANDAKAN: Sabah is participating in a number of travel-related events that are taking place in Australia to position the state as a desirable destination for Aussies.

State Tourism, Culture, and Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said Sabah and Australia have always had a positive connection with one another and have been working together to boost their respective tourism industries.

“It has long been a goal of the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) to increase Australian arrivals and we have always been conducting roadshows to pique Australians’ interest in travelling to Sabah.

“The STB team will soon be participating in couple of roadshows organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Art, and Culture (MOTAC) in major cities of Australia to continue building awareness on Sabah as a destination,” he told reporters when met at the Sandakan Memorial Park here, on Monday.

He was speaking in reference to the Tourism Malaysia Oceania Roadshow that will be taking place from Aug 21-26 in cities of Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney.

Joniston, who chairs STB, was in Sandakan to represent the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor at the annual Sandakan Memorial Day service, which pays tribute to Australian and British servicemen who lost their lives in the death march during World War 2.

The service also honour local unsung heroes who gave their lives in service to allied troops.

Present were Minister for Veterans’ Affairs of Australia and Minister for Defence Personnel Matt Keogh and his delegates; British High Commissioner to Malaysia Charles Hay; and Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia Dr. Justin Lee, among others.

Joniston said the participation of the Australian ministerial delegation is evidence of the strong ties that exist between Sabah and Australia.

He also believed momentous event such as the Sandakan Memorial Service will serve to enhance the already existing relationship between the two governments and help stimulate tourism-related activity.

Meanwhile, Keogh’s visit to Malaysia and Sabah in particular was his first official international engagement since taking office in June this year.

“I am grateful for the opportunity this visit has given me to discover more about common heritage and to better explore this fantastic part of Malaysia, its culture and history,” he said.

On Sunday, Keogh and his delegates arrived Sandakan where they took the opportunity to explore the town and some of its tourism attractions. The Sandakan Municipal Council played host during their time in the city.

Keogh praised Sabah for the incredible tourism opportunity it presented with attractions such as the Sandakan Memorial Park, as well as nature-based tourism and wildlife-based tourism, all of which would appeal Australians.


Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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