KOTA KINABALU, July 11 — Sabah is implementing measures to prioritise safety around its tourism offerings following a series of incidents involving foreign tourists.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor announced that the state would collaborate with the federal government to upgrade tourism facilities, emphasising safety considerations.

“I hope the number of tourists from China will continue to increase. Therefore, the state government will continue to work with the federal government to upgrade tourism facilities,” he said, expressing satisfaction with the rising number of Chinese tourists visiting Sabah post-Covid.

“I also want to prioritise the safety of tourists coming to the state. We do not want any unfortunate incidents involving foreign tourists in Sabah. The state government will do its utmost to ensure public safety, including that of tourists,” he added.

He made these remarks during a courtesy call with China’s Ambassador to Malaysia, Ouyang Yujing, and the Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Kota Kinabalu, Huang Shifang, at the Sabah State Assembly building.

Also present was the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Datuk Sri Tiong King Sing.

There have been several fatal tourist accidents in the state this year, including incidents related to scuba diving, paragliding, and a recent road accident.

Last year, Sabah reported 13 accidents involving tourists, such as a boat overturning on Pulau Timba-Timba and a drowning incident with foreign tourists.

The State Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment attributed these accidents to unlicensed operators who lacked safety protocols, stating they would regulate such activities for safety.

Meanwhile, Ouyang anticipated that the number of Chinese tourists visiting Malaysia would double this July during the summer season.

Hajiji noted that apart from tourism, they were exploring Chinese investment in high-tech sectors like the digital economy, AI, solar energy, and e-commerce.

“Undoubtedly, both countries will benefit from this bilateral relationship, particularly in high-tech investments,” he said.

The Kibing Group is among the latest Chinese investors in Sabah, focusing on solar glass manufacturing at the Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP).