Industry Insights

Sabah Expects a Surge in Korean Tourists

The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Datuk Christina Liew, states that Sabah is expecting a surge of Korean tourists to Sabah within the period of 23 December to 29 February next year.

The minister also attributed the frequency of Busan to Kota Kinabalu flights via Air Busan taking off, increasing from twice weekly to four times weekly, starting 28th December until 3rd March next year.

“On top of that, there will be a change of aircraft model from B738 (seat 189) to B777-200 (seat 393) for the Incheon to Kota Kinabalu scheduled flight via Jin Air seven times weekly from 13 December to 3 March, 2024,” Liew said in a statement.

With the increase in flights from Incheon and Busan, Air Asia launched a sale yesterday for flights between Kota Kinabalu and Seoul.

Air Asia offers sales for flights between Seoul-Incheon (ICN) and Kota Kinabalu (BKI) flights, which can be found from their website

Nazarudin Ja’afar, Charge D’Affaires of the Embassy of Malaysia in Seoul, shared insights about the strong ties between Malaysia and the Republic of Korea. Since 2015, Korea has consistently been in the top 10 market sources for Malaysia.

As of June 2023, Malaysia had warmly welcomed 188,784 visitors from the Republic of Korea. Malaysia’s goal for 2023 is ambitious; the nation is aiming to receive 16.1 million international tourists with an estimated tourism revenue of USD 10.7 billion (RM 49.9 billion), said Nazarudin. Sabah, the Land Below the Wind, has its sights set on 2.8 million tourists next year, eyeing RM5.6 billion in tourism revenue.

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