Sabah open to all linguistic backgrounds

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Berlin, GREMANY: The spirit of adventure, discovery, and cultural richness that defines the Sabah experience has been boosted at the world’s leading travel trade show in Berlin between March 5 and 7. And unveiled at the  event was Sabah Tourism Board’s (STB) unique new multilingual brochure aimed at enhancing the experience of German-speaking travellers. 

The decision to translate the Sabah brochure into German, Dutch, French, and Spanish reflected STB’s dedication to ensuring inclusivity and accessibility for all visitors, regardless of linguistic background.

“The availability of the Sabah brochure in multiple languages reflects our commitment to providing personalised experiences to our international guests,” said Datuk Christina Liew,  Sabah’s  Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment.

Speaking at the event, Christina emphasised Sabah’s commitment to catering to diverse audiences. She added that while English remained widely spoken and understood, STB recognised the importance of providing information in multiple languages to cater for travellers from different backgrounds.

“And, while English also serves as a universal language of communication, we recognise the value of embracing linguistic diversity and catering to the unique preferences of our visitors.

“By offering information in German, Dutch, French, and Spanish, we aim to enhance the accessibility of Sabah’s rich cultural heritage and natural beauty to a broader audience,” she said matter-of-factly.

These four additional languages complement the existing brochures, which are currently available in English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

And, according to Christina, the new brochure served as a guide for travellers seeking to explore the region’s enchanting landscape and vibrant culture.

“Additionally, the brochure’s content is tailored to the interests of the target markets.  Wildlife sanctuaries and marine parks that engage in sustainable and conservation efforts are also highlighted in the brochure,” she said.

She also said Sabah’s community-based tourism experience enabled travellers to engage with local indigenous communities, supporting their livelihoods while promoting environmental stewardship practices.

These initiatives, she explained, not only provided an immersive experience for travellers but also actively contributed to the conservation of Sabah’s unique biodiversity and cultural heritage.

“Aligned with the “Feel Sabah” branding, the multilingual brochure encapsulates the essence of Sabah’s unique charm and invites travellers to immerse themselves in the warmth and hospitality of the destination,” she said, adding that “Feel Sabah” embodied the spirit of adventure, discovery, and cultural richness that defined the Sabah experience.

For European arrivals, Germany had the second highest number of visitors after the UK and Ireland, followed by the Netherlands and France in 2023.

“This underscores the importance of engaging with the German market and providing tailored information to meet their needs and preferences,” she said.

(Photo shows Christina (centre), flanked by her deputy Datuk Joniston Bangkuai (2nd left), her ministry’s permanent secretary Josie Lai 2nd right), Julinus Jeffery Jimit, CEO STB (right) and Iskandar Mirza, Tourism Malaysia’s senior director of International Promotions AERO Markets showing the Sabah brochure)

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