KOTA KINABALU: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew is leading a six-member delegation to Turkey today on a mission to promote Sabah as a preferred tourism destination.
She is accompanied by the Chairman of Sabah Tourism Board (STB), Ken Pan Ying On and General Manager Noredah Othman.
“I was invited to visit Turkey by Esra Degirmenci (who is Dorak Holding’s Head of Global Brand & Tourism Management) when we met this year in Sabah. It is a great opportunity to explore and capture a share of the booming outbound travel market there.
“For mutual benefits, we hope to establish a strategic partnership with Dorak Holding which has pledged to bring one million tourists to Sabah in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2020 (VMY 2020),” said Liew who is also Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment.
Established in 1971, Dorak Tour (now a holding) is one of the first inbound travel companies in Turkey. It offers holidays, cultural tours, city escapes, special interest tours, golf and adventure.
While in Turkey, the Minister will attend a briefing by Esra and get to meet the Deputy Director of Tourism Malaysia Istanbul, Syafinaz Bujang, apart from visits to places of interest such as the Goreme Open Air Museum, one of the first two UNESCO sites in Turkey, and the Dolmabahce Palace, the grandest of Ottoman imperial palaces.
The five-day itinerary includes overnight stay at Sacred House Cappadocia, a Bosphorus cruise by private yacht (hosted by Dorak) and a date with Kaymakli Underground, a city built under the hill known as the Citadel of Kaymakli and was opened to visitors in 1964. Sacred House is a five-star hotel which occupies a 250-year-old Greek mansion in the Cappadocia town of Urgup.
This Turkey trip follows a courtesy call by Esra earlier this year. She had heard so much about Sabah, and was fascinated by its racial and cultural diversity as well as its exotic wildlife, among other attractions.
“Sabah is endowed with a beautiful land. You have all the ingredients for a fantastic holiday destination,” she had told the Minister.
Also present was the Ministry’s Deputy Permanent Secretary, Hjh Mariam Omar Matusin.-SabahNewsToday