Sabah’s Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry will ensure that the state’s flourishing tourism industry will benefit all relevant stakeholders, its minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said on Wednesday. FILE PIC

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry will ensure that the state’s flourishing tourism industry will benefit all relevant stakeholders, its minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said on Wednesday.

"The ministry's aim is to look into the needs of villagers who are involved in tourism by (ensuring the) distribution of tourists to (their) districts via the Visit District Year, which is approaching.

"Moreover, (we will address the) challenges (faced by the industry) in terms of accommodation availability in the state capital, where four and five-star hotels are fully-booked until Chinese New Year next year," he said in reply to Datuk Samsudin Yahya's (BN-Sekong) question at the 14th state assembly sitting on whether the Ministry will organise a Visit Sabah Year to boost the state’s tourism industry.

As the country’s second-busiest international flight hub, Sabah receives 174 international and 410 domestic flights weekly.

For the first ten months of 2017, the state recorded a 10.5 per cent increase in tourist arrivals, comprising 1.4 million international and 2.1 million local visitors.

On a supplementary question from Dr Edwin Bosi (Parti Anak Negeri-Kapayan) on the success rate of Visit Tambunan Year 2017, Masidi said statistics for the initiative are not yet available.

"Tambunan is a beautiful district, (and the launch) of Visit Tambunan Year (has) definitely encouraged investors to open up resorts there.

"Those who sell local vegetables and products by the roadside are also reaping benefits from the programme," Masidi added.