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>PRESS RELEASES / August 12, 2008

Sabah Tourism Board promotes Kota Kinabalu to local travel agencies

Cites Cebu Pacific for linkage role

The Sabah Tourism Board (STB) held a roadshow for Philippine travel agencies promoting Kota Kinabalu as a major tourist destination in the region.

Some 140 travel agencies attended the STB presentation at the Shangri-la Makati last August 7, 2008, giving local travel agents a glimpse of what the Bornean destination has to offer in terms of travel and leisure.

Datuk Sari Suhut, STB vice chairman, said, “Kota Kinabalu has a lot of potential to develop into a premier business and holiday destination. It has now become more accessible with the entry of airlines with huge regional network like Cebu Pacific.”

“Cebu Pacific’s regular service from Manila to Kota Kinabalu directly puts Sabah in the region’s route map.  And, coincidentally, it also links Sabah to the rest of the world.  We hope that this will bring closer economic, cultural and tourism ties between Malaysia and the Philippines,” Suhut added.

Meanwhile, Gordon Yap, STB deputy general manager, stated, “Kota Kinabalu is conducive for the MICE market, the golfers and nature lovers.  It is away from the typhoon and earthquake belts, has world class event venues, a good mix of nature and city, and offers a wide array of indoor and outdoor activities.  Of course, Sabah also has the great Mt. Kinabalu as an attraction.”

Mt. Kinabalu, one of the highest mountains in Southeast Asia, is a huge granite dome with a height of 4,095 meters (13,435 ft) at its summit known as Low’s Peak.

Further, Abdul Rahim Haron, assistant director at the Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board, added, “We host and organize a number of world class competitions and events, not to mention the bargains at great Malaysian sale seasons, to attract more tourists to experience and enjoy Sabah and Kota Kinabalu.”

“The outbound market also has great potential because the Philippines is a viable alternative to Europe in terms of centuries-old Catholic churches, which interests many Sabahan Catholics; and Manila offers great business and shopping opportunities,” Yap explained. (end)

Cebu Pacific operates twice-weekly flights to Kota Kinabalu and is offering a seat sale of P388 one-way for its Manila-Kota Kinabalu service.  The seat sale will run from August 11-17 and is good for travel from September 1 to December 15, 2008.