There could not be a better travel marketplace platform than the ITB Berlin 2023 (Internationale Tourismus-Borse Berlin) for Sabah Tourism Board (STB) to launch Sabah's new destination rebranding - 'Feel Sabah, North Borneo'.
STB is under the purview of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment.
'Feel Sabah' promotion was developed by STB while the idea of incorporating 'North Borneo' was mooted by Minister Datuk Christina Liew who led a 10-member delegation to this global event.
Launching this rebranding exercise at the world's largest tourism trade fair at the Messe Berlin in Germany on Tuesday, Minister Datuk Christina Liew said it was most apt to adopt this promotional theme for sentimental and historical reasons.
She stressed that we want the international community to know that Sabah is located in the northern part of Borneo Island in the hope of fascinating and wooing more European tourists, among others.
"The name 'North Borneo' (now Sabah) sounds exotic and evokes nostalgic feelings of yearning for this destination. It is also of historical significance as the state was then known as 'North Borneo' prior to gaining our Independence in 1963. "People in many parts of the world (reportedly) haven't heard about Sabah, despite decades of promoting this Land Below The Wind to the outside world, let alone know about our diverse natural attractions and iconic wildlife.
"However, we are aware that at the mention of Borneo or North Borneo, it rings a bell.
Europeans in particular associate Sabah with Borneo. Hence, we are determined to rebrand this tourist destination with 'Feel Sabah, North Borneo' to create a new identity in the travel marketplace," Liew said after the launch.