Sabah is planning to open 10 new hotels by 2021 to complement the booming tourism industry in the state.
Malaysian Association of Hotels-Sabah and Labuan (MAH) chapter chairman Gordon Seet said the new hotels, including in Labuan, would contribute to additional 3,815 rooms.
"As of March, the overall occupancy in Sabah was at 64.4 per cent while Kota Kinabalu alone registered 74.4 per cent.
"The top five international visitors are from China (including Hong Kong and Macau), South Korea, Brunei, Taiwan and the United Kingdom," he said at a dinner function with the media here last night.
He added that checks showed that 85 per cent of foreign tourists prefer to stay in hotels and resorts compared to other types of accommodation.
The state government has set a target of 4 million visitors this year and has so far received 1 million visitors in the first quarter of the year.
"Our MAH chapter is committed to work with state Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry, Tourism Malaysia, Sabah Tourism Board to make Sabah and Labuan the preferred destinations for local, regional and international travellers," Seet said.
Meanwhile, Sabah Matta chairman Lawrence Chin said the three-day Matta Fair recorded about 40,000 visitors and RM35 million in sales.
He said based on the sales, China and South Korea were the top destinations picked by visitors, followed by Turkey and Japan.
He added that the next Matta Fair in Sabah will be held in September.