Sabah on mission to woo Aussie travellers

SANDAKAN: The Sabah Tourism Board will lead a mission to Australia to promote the state as a travel destination.

The mission is part of the Tourism Malaysia Oceania Roadshow organised by the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry.

It will take place from Aug 21 to 26 in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.

STB will visit several major cities in Australia to build awareness on Sabah as a holiday destination, Sabah Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said.

He said Sabah and Australia had a positive connection and had been working together to boost their tourism industries.

"It has long been a goal of the Sabah Tourism Board to increase Australian arrivals and we have always been conducting roadshows to pique Australians' interest in travelling to Sabah," said Joniston, who represented Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor at the annual Sandakan Memorial Day service to pay tribute to Australian and British servicemen who lost their lives in the death march during World War 2.

The local unsung heroes who gave their lives to help the allied troops were also honoured during the service.

Present were Australia's Veterans' Affairs and Defence Personnel Minister Matt Keogh and his delegation, British High Commissioner to Malaysia Charles Hay and Australian High Commissioner to Malaysia Justin Lee, among others.

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

Keogh's visit to Malaysia and Sabah is his first official international engagement since taking office in June.

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

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