Photo above: Rozman (second right) hands over the souvenir to the young girl who is among the group. Looking on is Chin (right) and the other VIPs.
August 9, 2016
LABUAN – Some 108 tourists from China set their feet on Labuan today after so many talks and efforts have done to attract the tourists from China to make Labuan Island as a tourist destination.
The tourists were the first batch or group coming to Labuan by ferry express from Kota Kinabalu to enjoy their one-night stay at Palm Beach Resort and Spa, while touring around this island during the day.
Present to welcome the tourists at Labuan International Ferry Terminal was Labuan Member of Parliament, Datuk Rozman Isli who spoke to the media that he felt happy with the success of the first venture to bring the tourists to this island.
“This is our first venture where we need to take it seriously as we do not want any weakness from our side becomes a constraint for us to expect more tourists arrival to here.
“Labuan Corporation (LC) will cooperate more with the tour agents those are working hard to get tourists coming to Labuan.
“Industry players have to prioritise hospitality to increase tourists arrival to here where in the end, it will contribute to our products improvement,” he said, adding that the tourists were on chartered flight from China to Kota Kinabalu.
After spending for a night in Labuan, the group of tourists would visit Brunei on the next day. while another group of China tourists from Brunei would come to Labuan, where the second group was on chartered flight from China to Brunei.
Among the places to be visited by the tourists here were World War II Memorial Park, Surrender Point, Museums and others.
Rozman who was also the chairman of LC told further that they would initiate to sell two-night stay package for the future tourists from China.
“It is a good start for us where our efforts before this finally bear its fruit today. I call this as our test market for Labuan especially to our service providers – the tour agents, shop owners and others. We did train our tourist guides in three course sessions. We will add more of our tourist guides.
“Before this, there were tourists in small group coming to Labuan. However, we will enhance our efforts so that Labuan will always receive positive response from the potential tourists to come to here.
“We will take advantage on the attraction available in the whole region especially in Sabah and Brunei to gain tourists from China where China is a big market and we can achieve our target get more tourists from the country,” he said.
He urged that Labuan must prepare to expect a large number of tourists from China after this.
“With the exponential of our potential in tourism, it is not impossible that we can be as great as the other established tourism destinations such as Bali, Krabi and others,” he said.
When asked about the direct chartered flight from China to Labuan, Rozman told that the idea was yet being able to be implemented due to the unavailability of flight and approval issue from the concerned agencies.
“In this coming September, Malindo Air is initiating to bring tourists directly from China to Labuan on a chartered flight. We thanked to our federal territory minister, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor to convince the cabinet to make Labuan economy grow further.
“The cabinet has approved to set up a task force headed by Tengku Adnan’s deputy for that purpose. The task force is a channel for us to voice out our demands and sharing information for further action,” he said, adding that a good team work would ensure the success of tourism industry in Labuan.
While, he spoke about the maintenance work in Labuan International Ferry Terminal which would consume a huge budget to repair the leaking on the roofs and to install new air-conditioner equipment to replace those not working anymore and to upgrade other facilities in the terminal.
Meanwhile, Labuan MCA Chief, Datuk Chin Hong Vui spoke that he thanked to Rozman for the given trust to him to contribute something for Labuan by coordinating the tour agents from outside Labuan mainly in Kota Kinabalu with LC and industry players here to make the first venture successful.
“We did ask the hotel here (Palm Beach Resort and Spa) to readjust their rates for the tourists where the hotel did agree to do so. We did learn so much from this first undertaking and I hope there will be a direct flight from China to Labuan soon.
“Currently, we have trained around 25 tourist guides to facilitate the tourists,” he said.