KOTA KINABALU: The travel advisory about Sabah's east coast issued by the United States is unfair, say local tourism players.
Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) President Datuk Tan Kok Liang said that the government had taken many security measures on Sabah's east coast.
"Our government has taken steps to curb these incidences by among others setting up the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) and imposing a curfew," he said when contacted on Tuesday (April 23).
He questioned the need for the travel advisory as there were no new incidents involving tourists.
Tan said security forces were doing a good job of safeguarding the state's east coast and there had been an increase in tourist arrivals, especially from China.
"If we look at other bigger countries, they have terrorism-related crimes, but no travel advisory is being issued about these countries? Why single out Sabah?" he asked.
Meanwhile, Sabah Tourist Association (STA) chairman Tony Chew said he agreed that the travel advisory should be withdrawn.
He said this advisory was unfair as the security forces in Sabah had stepped up their game and were able to curb cross-border crimes.
"Ever since the Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) was set up, kidnapping cases have dropped significantly. The kidnappings that happened recently do not involve tourists, but rather local and foreign fishermen," he said.