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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Hospitality sector urged to go green

KOTA KINABALU: Hotels and resorts here were told to step up the ‘greening’ of their premise to complement the government’s effort in developing a sustainable tourism sector.

Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman said the hospitality sector should be mindful of the need to reduce its carbon footprint as Sabah was known for its biodiversity, clean environment and nature-based destinations.

“It is crucial for players in the tourism sector who depend on Sabah’s natural products to lure tourists to implement greener policies.

“Look for innovative ways of reducing energy and water use, recycle what you can, and try to start sourcing for organic detergents,” Musa said at the Ming Garden Hotel and Residence here.

He said businesses that showed real commitment in going green would draw in environmental conscious clientele apart from helping to create a safer and better environment.

Musa also called on hotel and resort operators in Sabah to create their own niche and offer something different to guests and make use of the feedback from their customers to update and improve their services.

He added that Malaysia has a variety of products that cater to the needs of tourists, from nature destinations to rich cultural heritage and premier shopping malls.

“There is something for everyone who visits Malaysia.

“It is projected that in 2020, the country’s tourism sector will grow by three folds with 36 million tourist arrivals and RM168 billion in receipts,” he said.

The state’s annual tourist arrivals had risen by 13.6% in 2011 and exceeded its initial target of 2.63 million visitors annually.

He added that the Sabah government had projected a repeat positive performance with tourist arrivals expected to exceed 2.75 million this year.

“The continuing upward trend means more hotel rooms are needed to accommodate the increasing number of visitors and the opening of Ming Garden is indeed timely.”

The Ming Garden Hotel and Residence is the newest hotel in Kota Kinabalu with 600 rooms, comprising 244 guest rooms and 356 service residences.

The property is a joint venture between the state-owned Sabah Urban Development Corporation (SUDC) and the Long Yuan Construction Group of China.

By The Star

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