1. Room occupancy at major hotels in Sabah to drop?
2. Would see less East Asian tourists and travelers at
3. Lesser foreign tourists hiking at Kinabalu mountain?
The predictions above are issues to be faced by Sabah after Malaysia Airlines announced the suspension of 4 routes from Kota Kinabalu Airport starting early 2012. The routes are
--> Kota Kinabalu-Osaka (starting January 6)
--> Kota Kinabalu-Perth (starting January 31)
--> Kota Kinabalu-Haneda (starting February 1)--> Kota Kinabalu-Seoul (starting February 21)
The move to suspend the flights would hurt Sabah tourism industry as the sector is one of the largest contributor to the revenue of the economy. East Asians and Down Under love to enjoy the warm weather, the scenic Kinabalu mountain, the green and lush Kundasang, panoramic Sipadan island, the awesome culture and the traditions of Sabah.
Surely, they prefer direct flights, instead of stopovers and connecting from Kuala Lumpur and finally to Kota Kinabalu, which is time consuming.
To add salt to the wound, the route is linked too to Kuching and this definitely makes Sarawak tourism to be lost again.
Given to the latest development, it is not surprising next year's foreign arrivals target is lower than expected. Not sure who would fill up the hole. As for now, it's a tough decision by MAS and tough consequences by tourism players.
We hope that things are to be corrected and create ways to prevent shortfalls in either sector. Malaysia Airlines : You can do it !!