KOTA KINABALU: In reference to the appointment of badminton legend Datuk Wira Lee Chong Wei as Sabah Tourism Ambassador, the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) acknowledges the views of several quarters who have voiced out disapproval over his appointment.
Chief Executive Officer of STB, Noredah Othman said, at the Sabah Tourism Board, they really appreciate local talents and have always engaged with local influencers to promote Sabah tourism both domestically and globally.
China is Sabah’s top market source and the Sabah Tourism Board is continuing its promotional efforts to entice Chinese tourists to visit the state, especially post-pandemic.
In the past, the Sabah Tourism, Culture, and Environment Ministry had appointed Sabah-born Malaysian professional golfer Ben Leong as our golfing ambassador. That was at the height of our promotions to encourage more golfers into Sabah.
Similarly, the Ministry had also engaged with renowned Malaysian singer and Kota Belud-born artiste Gary Chaw as Tourism Ambassador to promote Sabah to his fans in China.
For the same reason, the Sabah Tourism Board views Datuk Wira Lee Chong Wei’s appointment as a significant step forward to further boost our tourism. We believe Datuk Lee Chong Wei’s position as a respected social and global influencer will help create curiosity as well as interest about the many attractions in Sabah among his followers, especially from China.
Except for costs incurred for logistical arrangements when he visits places of interest for promotional purposes, Datuk Wira Lee Chong Wei’s appointment as tourism ambassador comes with no fee. We are thankful and fortunate that the former World No. 1 badminton player has kindly agreed to be our tourism ambassador and for us to ride on his global popularity to lure more visitors into Sabah.
The Sabah Tourism Board looks forward to collaborate with Datuk Wira Lee Chong Wei to experience Sabah destinations, lifestyle, and culture as a non-local domestic visitor.