Monday, July 15, 2024

Exploring Untapped Markets: The Rise of Uzbek Tourism in Sabah


Uzbek Tourists Set to Explore the Wonders of KK and Semporna

The allure of Sabah’s pristine beaches, rich cultural tapestry, and vibrant underwater ecosystems is reaching new corners of the world, as direct marketing efforts towards the Central Asian market begin to bear fruit. The Sabah Tourism Board (STB) has taken a significant step in promoting Sabah’s tourism treasures by conducting a pivotal business-to-business (B2B) session in Uzbekistan, marking a strategic move to tap into this promising market segment.

Capitalizing on the introduction of direct flights to Tashkent from Kuala Lumpur by Batik Air last December, Sabah aims to become a new favorite destination for Uzbek travelers. Traditionally, tourists from Uzbekistan often choose destinations such as Pulau Langkawi, Phuket, and Bali for their vacations. Sabah’s tourism delegates are now endeavoring to shift this focus towards the natural and cultural wonders of Sabah.

“Sabah was the pioneering Malaysian state to conduct a B2B session with counterparts in Uzbekistan, showcasing the state as an enticing new option for tourism in Central Asia,” stated Connie Chong, Managing Director of Funholiday. This move stemmed from extensive groundwork and efforts to foster connections with key tourism stakeholders in Uzbekistan, underscoring the commitment and collaboration among the tourism sector to introduce Sabah to the Uzbek market.

Chong highlighted that Sabah’s offerings are well-suited to the preferences of Uzbek tourists, particularly its sun-kissed islands, sprawling beaches, and the allure of fresh seafood. The B2B session served as an eye-opener for many Uzbek travel agents, who were captivated by Sabah’s unique attractions. “The enthusiasm and curiosity about Kota Kinabalu City and Semporna, especially concerning diving opportunities, were evident among the agents. We have already identified potential sales and are actively following up,” Chong elaborated.

In a promising development, a group of 60 Uzbek tourists is anticipated to visit Kota Kinabalu next month, while another 40 tourists are expected to explore the scenic beauty of Semporna. This initial group of travelers symbolizes the budding interest and potential for growth in tourism exchanges between Sabah and Uzbekistan.

The outreach efforts extended beyond the B2B session, as the Sabah delegation seized the opportunity to explore stunning sites in Uzbekistan, including Tashkent and Samarkand, known for their historic role in the ancient Great Silk Road. The visit aimed to foster mutual tourism benefits and provide insights into facilitating travel experiences for tourists between the two regions. The delegation engaged in productive discussions with officials from the Tashkent City Tourism Department, Air Samarkand, and Samarkand International Airport, and conducted hotel inspections to ensure quality experiences for future tourists.

With the combined efforts of all stakeholders and the proactive initiatives by the Sabah Tourism Board, Sabah is poised to welcome a new wave of tourists from Central Asia, enriching the cultural exchange and opening new avenues for tourism growth.

Jordan Clark
Jordan Clark
Jordan Clark brings a dynamic and investigative approach to business reporting. Holding a degree in Business Administration and a certification in Data Analysis, Jordan has an eye for detail and a knack for uncovering the stories behind the numbers. His career began in the bustling world of Silicon Valley startups, giving him firsthand experience in tech entrepreneurship and venture capital. Jordan's reports often focus on technology's impact on business, startup culture, and emerging

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