KOTA KINABALU: Sabah and Penang are embarking on cross-promotional efforts for their respective tourism attractions following a memorandum of collaboration (MoC) signed yesterday.
The MoC was signed between Sabah Tourism Board (STB) chief executive officer Noredah Othman and Penang Global Tourism (PGT) chief executive officer Ooi Chok Yan in George Town, Penang.
Sabah Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Joniston Bangkuai and Penang Tourism and Creative Economy (Petace) Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin witnessed the signing.
The agreement was a follow up to the meeting held between Joniston and Yeoh last December. As chairmen of STB and PGT, respectively, they described the MoC as momentous.
The duo noted that the two states share a similar commitment to the positive impact that tourism might have on the people and their economies, as well as the nation.
The goals of the MoC between Sabah and Penang include, among other things, to improve flight connectivity between the two states and facilitating engagement of key parties in relation to the development of products and tourism.
Joniston said that he met Yeoh in Penang last year, and STB and PGT had explored the possibility of establishing better ties in tourism promotions.
"We met again in Sabah and talked at length about how important it was to collaborate.
"I think the MoC is the first step to help us realise our friendship initiatives through tourism. Hopefully, it will lead to a similar collaboration with other states," said Joniston, while suggesting that STB and PGT establish a key performance indicator (KPI) to assess the efficacy of their partnership.
Meanwhile, Yeoh expressed optimism that the partnership with STB would help to boost the economies of both states and make them more resilient in the face of future challenges.
"We anticipate an increase in the number of visitors to Malaysia through the sharing of tourism ideas and creation of dual destination packages for domestic and international markets.
"To me, the key to tourism success is breaking down siloed approaches.
"To succeed, we must work together, and this important partnership is a step to achieve our common goals," he said.