LAHAD DATU, Aug 15 (Bernama) -- Lahad Datu welcomed the arrival of 28 international yachts participating in the annual ‘Sail Malaysia, Passage to the East’ Yacht Rally 2019 at the Marine Base here yesterday.
Its district officer, Dr Mohammad Ayob Yaacob said the 66 yachters from the United States, Australia, Canada, and United Kingdom as an effort to boost the tourism of the town located in eastern Sabah.
“The sailors docked at Lahad Datu before continuing their journey to Semporna tomorrow. They are here for the first time and are very happy as they enjoy the beauty of our waters here in Lahad Datu,” he told reporters after opening rally here today.
According to Mohammad Ayob, the presence of yachters, not only provide a positive picture on the security in the area but also provided an opportunity to promote Lahad Datu as an ideal tourist destination.
“Lahad Datu has many attractive spots to visit, therefore, we hope an event like this will be made annual so it can bring the impact, not only to the district but to the country,” he added.
Programme organiser Sazli Kamal Basha said the yacht event was a joint initiative between Cruise Maribe Tourism Association and the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry to encourage international sailors to dock and visit Malaysia waters.
“Normally, when the yachters sail, they will stay about two years in this country. I would like to thank the Malaysian government and the district for their assistance in making this event possible,” he added.
Besides the efficient security control by the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCom) also gave confidence to the yachters to sail along the waters of Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone).
The yachters embarked on their voyage in Malaysia from Rebak Island, Langkawi on April 27 and then to places like Pangkor Marina Island in Perak. They were in Johor, Pahang, Indonesia, Kuching and Miri, Brunei before arriving in Lahad Datu.
They will be making their way to Semporna before ending their journey in Tawau, Sabah on Aug 25.