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Sabah to boost tourism with sports events

Thumbs up from Liew (centre), Ministry officials and the organisers displaying the event's promotional banner. Flanking her are Mohd Yusrie (on her left) and Kimon.

14 June 2023

Oleh Wartawan Nabalu News

KOTA KINABALU: The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment (KePKAS) is keen to make sports tourism a niche market to boost the tourism industry in Sabah.

Its Minister Datuk Christina Liew said basically, the move is to cater to the needs of travellers who want to come to Sabah to participate in international sports events held here such as Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon and Borneo Marathon.

"There are many types of niche tourism as travellers have varied interests, and my ministry thinks it is high time to promote sports tourism, apart from ecotourism and wildlife tourism. Sabah will also be hosting an international golf tournament, and this is a part of sports tourism, too.

"We want to position Kota Kinabalu as a premier destination for outdoor multisport events," she said after announcing the inaugural KKCity XMultiSport Challenge 2023 at a press conference at the Ministry's Office on Tuesday.

Liew assured the organisers of full support from her ministry for this multisport extravaganza which is scheduled to take place from November 9 to 12. It has three components - Triathlon and Duathlon which serve as the flagship (with a target of 700 participants), and the KKCity Neon Run with an estimated 3,000 participants (athletes, visitors and locals).

"We are partnering with the organisers (XMultiSport) and offering attractive prizes for the winners. We welcome aficionados of extreme multisports and participants from far and near. It will be a combination of international tourists (20pc), domestic tourists (30pc) and local participants (50pc)," she said. The targeted countries are Australia, Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Singapore.

Saying the media play a vital role in promoting XMultiSport Challenge 2023, Liew called on media practitioners to produce exciting stories to catch the attention of international athletes and extreme sports enthusiasts of all levels.

"In this way, we can get some 'big names' to come and participate in the event," she said in response to a reporter's question.

She also expressed the hope that this multisport event will become an annual affair under the auspices of KePKAS.

Briefing the Minister, Manager of XMultiSport Ahmad Syuaib Nasir said the primary objective of XMultiSport Challenge 2023 is to elevate the sports tourism sector in Sabah with a vision to establish it as a prominent hub for international endurance sports events.

"We are, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment, promoting sports tourism and sports development towards making Sabah a premier sports tourism destination.

"KKCity XMultiSport Challenge 2023 is poised to showcase the best of athletic prowess and community spirit in Kota Kinabalu.

"With the support of the local community, the event aims to foster a sense of camaraderie and promote sportsmanship while embracing a healthy and active lifestyle," he said.

Registration for KKCity XMultiSport Challenge 2023 will remain open until October 16, 2023. Please visit WWW.XMULTISPORT.COM

Also present at the press conference were the Ministry's Permanent Secretary Datuk Sr. Mohd Yusrie Abdullah, Deputy Permanent Secretary II Alesia Sion and Race Director Auther Kimon.

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