Sabah to Receive 800 Indian Golfers Beginning November

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NEW DELHI: Sabah is set to host an influx of more than 800 Indian leisure golfers starting next month.

This follows a fruitful follow-up by Sabah Tourism Board (STB) of an exploratory visit by a delegation of Indian golfing experts to Sabah in May this year, resulting in a surge of interest from avid Indian golfers.

Sabah Assistant Tourism, Culture, and Environment Minister cum STB chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai projected an even larger turnout as these golf enthusiasts are anticipated to arrive accompanied by their families.

“We stand at the threshold of yet another exciting chapter in Sabah’s tourism journey as we are also expecting a group of Indian leisure golfers next year to have a tournament in Sabah.

“This prospect is firmly validated by our esteemed partners at Tourism Malaysia,” he said after a meeting with Anil Dev, a representative of Golf Plus India, which is managing the Indian golfers trip to Sabah.

Tourism Malaysia New Delhi is targeting 850 recreational and group golfers visiting from India to Sabah.

Golf Plus India is expected to bring the Rotary golf group, which is a component of The South Asian Golfing Association for Rotarians, next February.

This will be a 250-person Rotary group with spouses from various nations in South Asia, with 75 percent of the golfers being Indian.

Meanwhile, India’s leading golf media platform is targeting 600 leisure and group players.

It is also slated to host the finals of ‘Golf Rendezvous 2024 India’ in Sabah in March 2024, with 60 golfers, supporters, and families participating.

Joniston was in Delhi to lead the STB team to the three-day Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Travel Mart, where strategic forums and invaluable business-to-business sessions unfolded.

Following the Travel Mart’s successful conclusion on Friday, the STB delegation also attended a dinner hosted by Tourism Malaysia.

Tourism Malaysia Deputy Director General (Promotion) Datuk Musa Yusof and India’s tourism players, including those from the golfing industry, were in attendance.

Joniston maintained that the momentous progress underscores STB’s unwavering commitment to making Sabah an all-encompassing destination, catering to the diverse needs of niche markets.

“The Indians are well-travelled. Sabah is considered a new hidden destination for them, and we are delighted by the keen interest from the Indian market.

“Agents have expressed eager to explore Sabah based on the compelling narratives they’ve encountered,” he added.

He also affirmed that the PATA Travel Mart has opened doors to forging relationships with key buyers and gaining invaluable insights into the Indian travel market.

“As the agency entrusted with propelling state tourism, STB eagerly looks forward to forging strong partnerships with Indian tourism players for mutual benefit,” Joniston concluded.

Also in the delegation were STB Chief Executive Officer Noredah Othman, her deputy cum Chief Financial Officer Julinus Jimit and Senior Marketing Manager Humphrey Ginibun.

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