Sabah still popular with Chinese tourists despite scuba divers’ death, says DCM

Datuk Christina Liew said Sabah recorded a total of 60,013 tourists to Semporna for the first half of the year. Of that number, 43,204 were foreigners and 16,809 Malaysians. — Bernama pic
Datuk Christina Liew said Sabah recorded a total of 60,013 tourists to Semporna for the first half of the year. Of that number, 43,204 were foreigners and 16,809 Malaysians. — Bernama pic

KOTA KINABALU, Aug 5 — Chinese tourists are still visiting Sabah uninterrupted, state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew said today.

She said the underwater fish bombs that killed two Chinese scuba divers and their local guide have not caused a huge drop in tourist arrivals from mainland China.

“There has been minimal impact from the incident. We have not had any cancellations from Chinese groups so far,” she told Paginatan assemblyman Datuk Abidin Madingkir during Question Time.

Liew who is also deputy chief minister said Sabah recorded a total of 60,013 tourists to Semporna for the first half of the year. Of that number, 43,204 were foreigners and 16,809 Malaysians.

She said the data is based on the number of tourists visiting Bohey Dulang island, one of the main attractions of the east coast island that is the jump off point to many islands like Sipadan and Mabul.

The numbers indicate a 12.2 per cent increase compared to the year before. The year before saw a total of 109,595 people visiting the island, of which 85.038 were international.

A month ago, two Chinese divers and their Sabahan instructor were killed near Kalapuan island, Semporna, with injuries consistent with a fish bomb. 

Police have yet to arrest the culprit due to the lack of witnesses’ testimonies to substantiate the findings.

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