Campaign offers travel deals to boost tourism in Sandakan


KOTA KINABALU: The Sandakan Tourism Association has partnered with Malaysia Airlines for a promotional campaign aimed at boosting tourist arrivals, especially from the peninsula and Singapore, to Sandakan.

The promotion offers deals ranging from airfare tickets and travel holidays packages until Aug 19 for travel dates until March 31, 2023.

In a joint statement here on Sunday (Aug 7), they said that domestic travellers can fly from Kuala Lumpur to Sandakan for a special one-way fare of RM179, while travellers from Singapore will enjoy discounted fares of up to 15% when flying from Singapore to Sandakan (via Kuala Lumpur).

“Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines tour operating arm, MHholidays, invites customers to enjoy flight and holiday packages, including hotel stays starting from RM509 in selected hotels and destinations in Sandakan.

“To top it all off, the first 20 customers who book a Junior Suite room at Sabah Hotel Sandakan (minimum stay of two nights) will receive a Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) merchandise voucher worth RM100.

“The promotion is bookable through until Aug 19,” they said.

In addition, travellers will enjoy discounted food and beverage or shopping vouchers provided by the association’s members such as Sabah Hotel, The Pavilion Hotel, Borneo Eco Tours, Balin Rooftop Bar, San Da Gen Kopitiam, Urban Café and KITA “Our Fresh Mart”.

The association’s president Teo Chee Kim said through the campaign, they hoped to diversify Sandakan offerings to more than just as the gateway to Borneo’s wildlife.

“The name Sandakan may automatically conjure up the image of lush tropical rainforest, orang utan, Bornean sun bear, proboscis monkey, pygmy elephant and more.

“However, there is a great deal more to be discovered in Sandakan other than our natural wonders.

“Culinary tourism is gaining popularity in Sandakan with our fresh seafood and unique local eats such as UFO tart and Avocado ABC.

“In addition, as the former capital city of British North Borneo, there are numerous heritage sites around the city with rich and fascinating stories waiting to be uncovered,” he added.

Malaysia Airlines Group chief marketing and customer experience officer Lau Yin May said in general, they have noticed a high appetite for travel, with most flights being 75 to 80% full, demonstrating customer confidence to travel.

“This is an incredibly encouraging sign that tourism has been progressively returning to full recovery,” said Lau, adding that the airline is currently operating 10-weekly flights from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to Sandakan.


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