Sabah has become a popular tourist destination in the Southeast Asia (SEA) region, said the Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Kota Kinabalu, Zhang He.
"Instead of going to Japan and Korea, many Chinese tourists are coming to Sabah" he said.
As such, he hoped that the relevant parties would look into enhancing tourism facilities in the State, given the insufficient number of hotel rooms now.
Zhang said the local media has a role to play in promoting exchanges between Malaysia and China.
He said the Chinese consulate has maintained a good working relationship with the local media since its inception in Kota Kinabalu, adding that the reports by local journalists on their trip to China organized by the consulate recently had also achieved the desired effect.
Zhang made the remarks during a courtesy call by Kota Kinabalu Journalists Association (KKJA) committee led by chairman Yong Ted Phen here yesterday to invite Zhang to KKJA's 25th Anniversary Celebration cum Press Night at Hakka Hall on August 31.
Yong said the consulate has graciously offered its sponsorship for the event, whereby part of the funds will be used for lucky draw prizes and the balance for study awards to KKJA members' children next year.
Yong also took the opportunity to brief Zhang on the history and functions of KKJA during the courtesy call and thanked the consulate for its support and sponsorship to the association.
Also present were organizing chairman, Jimmy Goh, vice chairman Leopold Santos, secretary Chuah Kim Huat, treasurer Tang Pok Ngai and welfare officer James Tseu.
During other courtesy calls made by the committee, KKJA legal advisor, Datuk Dr. Yee Moh Chai, who is also the chairman of Sustainable Energy Development Authority Malaysia (SEDA), and honorary advisor, Li Su Fook, have also offered to sponsor the event.