Effect Of Temporary South Korean Tourist Ban In Kota Kinbalu Because Of Covid-19 Virus – Malaysian goverments Banned South Korean Tourists From Entering The Country Temporarily – Its official. Starting from 1st March 2020, South Korean tourists are not allowed to enter any part of Malaysia for holiday, for vacation, for social visit also for business.
South Korea nationals have been temporarily barred from visiting Malaysia following a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases.
The temporary ban also involves those transiting through Malaysia, for example from one state to another, or from one city in Malaysia to another city in Malaysia, such as from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu.
The impact on us is huge. All our incoming bookings made earlier by our South Korean customers have been cancelled, since so many flights schedules from South Korea to Kota Kinabalu has been cancelled too, due to Covid-19 virus that spreaded widely without control in major cities in South Korea.
South Korean tourists gave so many contribution to Kota Kinabalu economy.
From our own experience, most South Korean tourists come to Kota Kinabalu for holiday during the whole month of August, then from November to January on next year.
We started to receive so many incoming bookings from South Korea during that time period.
During month of January 2020 alone, we receive about 20-40 incoming bookings from South Korean tourists who interested in doing Discover Scuba Diving In Kota Kinabalu, Leisure Dive In Kota Kinabalu, also Advanced Open Water Course In Kota Kinabalu.
On August 2019, we receive so many booking for Discover Scuba Diving from South Korean tourists, as they love doing scuba diving without license for fun and for leisure with their family.
Since the ban started, we havent see any South Korean tourists in Jesselton Point jetty. The jetty used to be highly crowded by South Korean tourists.
Most South Koreans love sandby beaches, snorkeling, scuba diving, taking pictures in the beach and good massage. Massage is their preferred activity on final day of their holiday before going to the airport for return flight back to South Korea.
Previously, we used to see massages centers in Warisan Square and Oceanus Shopping Mall highly crowded by South Korean tourists. But now, all are nearly empty since they are not allowed to enter Kota Kinabalu becuase of the ban.
Most South Korean tourists love to walk around Sinsuran Night Market (buying manggo drinks and coconut drinks), enjoying food servings and beautful sunset view in KK Waterfront and then doing several hours shopping in Center Point Sabah.
Some South Korean entreupreneurs already established scuba diving centers catered for Koreans, Korean restaurants, Korean massage shops and Korean groceries shop in Kota Kinabalu city.
Now, most shops run by Koreans for Korean tourist are seen nearly empty without no customers at all, since they are highly focused on South Korean tourists who come to Kota Kinabalu for holiday.
We really hope things are getting better soon. Chinese toursts and South Korean tourists contributes so much to Kota Kinabalu city’s economy, especially for tourism companies and scuba diving centers.
Effect Of Chinese Tourist Ban To Kota Kinabalu Local Scuba Diving Industry – Recently on early February of year 2020, Sabah State Government imposed a no-entry band to all Chinese tourists.
This means any people from mainland China that holds China mainland passport are banned from entering Kota Kinabalu. Foreigners and Malaysians who are non-residents of Sabah with recent travel history to mainland China for the past two weeks will not be allowed to enter the state starting from 8 February 2020.
Lack of Chinese tourists in Kota Kinabalu gave very huge impact to scuba diving centers and other business outside scuba diving that caters for Chinese tourists since 2016. We used to see group of Chinese tourits walking around the city everyday. Now, city of Kota Kinabalu turns quiet without Chinese tourists.
Chinese restaurants in Gaya Street are empty or lack of diners. Welcome Seafood, the most popular seafood restaurant in Kota Kinabalu also left with no customers at all, or only small number of customers that are local Malaysian Chinese.
Some souvenir shops are empty without customers, especially souvenir shops run by local Chinese owners. Because of the ban, most hotels in Kota Kinabalu also has low number of incoming customers.
We heard news that several other small dive centers in Semporna also has been closed due to no incoming customers. Some business outlets laid off their workers or gave long holidays to their permament staff due to lack of customers since the ban started.
As for Chinese nationals who are still in Sabah, they have been advised to depart or return before expiry of their visa. How are doing after these circumstances?
We still go out scuba diving in Kota Kinabalu as usual. Our PADI scuba instructors still go out teaching PADI scuba courses as usual. The main difference is that we dont have so many dive guests just like before.
We still receive incoming dive guests among local Malaysians, from Singapore, tourists from Europe and several tourists from Australia. Go Aquatic used to cater so many Chinese tourist for their scuba diving in Kota Kinabalu.
Some of them joined us in our daily leisure dive trip in Kota Kinabalu to improve their scuba diving skills before going for holiday to anoter diving destinations such as Mabul island or Sipadan island in Semporna.
But now, we think because of the travel ban, we will not receive any other incoming customers from mainland China, if coronavirus threat still active. Sabah Tourism Board statistics show Chinese tourists were the largest number of foreigners to visit the state on 2019, totalling 558,903 people.
On 2019, state of Sabah received 3.76 million visitors, comprising 2.44 million domestic tourists and 1.32 million foreign tourists. That is a huge number. The biggest is East Malaysia.
The Malaysian Association of Hotels reported that Sabah suffered from up to 29,874 room cancellations from January 22 onwards, with some RM10 million in loss of revenue. Chinese tourists contribute hugely to the tourism industry in Sabah.
We really hope situation will get better, soon. Lets pray!
2 New PADI Open Water Course Participants From Russia – On 1st July, we received 2 new PADI Open Water Course participants from Russia. They are Ana and Aliana. Both travelling from Brunei Darussalam for their holiday in Kota Kinabalu.
Here are their photo during PADI Open Water Course theory classroom session. The theory classroom session was held on 1st July 2019 in Go Aquatic’s multimedia room. It is located in Wisma Sabah, Kota Kinabalu.
Their classroom session starts at 12:00 PM as they requested to start late. They arrived on 1st July at 10:00. They want several hours to check-in into their hotel once their arrive in Kota Kinabalu.
After completing their PADI Open Water Course, Ana and Aliana plan to focus on Kota Kinabalu diving to practice their basic skill. They might join leisure dive trip to explore underwater world in Kota Kinabalu.
Why You Must Have License & Certification Before Doing Scuba Diving – First of all, scuba diving is a recreational activity that involves certain risks. Here’s the 4 reasons why you must have diving license before go doing scuba diving in any place.
Reason #1 – The Risk
You must attend training. You also must to learn how to do scuba diving properly in safe way under close supervision of a scuba diving instructor.
This is same like driving a car. Driving car outside your house on the road is actually involves risk. Any other car might hit you and you also might hit another that if you are not fully trained.
You are not allowed to drive any car without driving license. You should not take a car for a drive if you are not yet trained to use it properly.
Reason #2 – The Rules
Scuba diving is a safe sport as long as you play by the rules.
One of the most important rules is that you have to be certified to do scuba diving. Any dive center will now allow you to dive with a buddy if you dont have your own scuba diving license or scuba diving certificate.
However, if you still wanna dive without a license, you are only allowed to do it in Discover Scuba Diving program. You will be diving under close supervision of a professional PADI instructor
Some Said The Cost Is High
Yes. This is absolutely true.
In our are, price for taking a PADI Open Water Course in Kota Kinabalu is ranging from 980 Malaysian Ringgit to 1200 Malaysian Ringgit. This price will increase every year as price of PADI material increase every year.
However, the price is not just for PADI Open Water Course is also. It is also includes the payment for marine park fee, jetty fee, conservation fee, equipment rental, scuba air tanks rental.
For us in Go Aquatic, price for taking PADI Open Water Course is 1030 Malaysian Ringgit (in 2019) includes will all the packages.
However, the price is for one time payment only. Your PADI diving license is for a life time. You dont have to renew.
Reason #3 – Proof You Have Been Trained Well
Because scuba diving is an activities that has risks, you must be trained well by professional diver.
You must know the risk and you must know how to handle them and to avoid unexpected emergency.
When you have your own scuba diving license from well known diving organization such as PADI, it will a real proof that your are a trained diver.
Any dive center you go will allow you to dive if you show them your diving license. In Kota Kinabalu diving, the process is also the same.
If you have PADI Open Water Diver license, you will be allowed to dive to maximum depth of 18 meters. If you have PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certification, you will be allowed to dive to maximum depth of 30 meters.
How To Register For PADI Advanced Open Water Course – in this post we will explain how you can enroll into PADI Advanced Open Water Course in Kota Kinabalu with Go Aquatic dive team.
What Is PADI Advanced Open Water Course
PADI Advanced Open Water Course is next recommended scuba diving course after completing your Open Water Diver Course. You can enroll into Advanced Open Water Course after getting your Open Water license. With Open Water Diver certification,you are only allowed to dive only up to 18 meters deep.
But, after gaining your PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certification, you will be allowed to dive up to maximum depth of 30 meters.
Or in another words, you must have a diving license before you can join PADI Advanced Open Water Course with Go Aquatic and with another PADI dive center in Kota Kinabalu Malaysia.
2. At least did 4 dives.
Before joining PADI Advanced Open Water Course, you must at least have 4 logged dives. This is to ensure you really did diving in the past during your Open Water Course. Normally if you joined Open Water Course previously, you will do 4 dives.
3. Physically Healthy.
Before starting your PADI Advanced Open Water Course, make sure you are totally healthy. If you are not healthy, you will not be able to dive properly. Scuba diving is an activity that involves risk. If you have any medical issues before starting your PADI Advanced Open Water Course, please let us know immediately.
4. Set the date and we will process your booking. Minimum number of participant for Advanced Open Water Course is 1 person. There is nor maximum number of participants for every booking.
5. We also didn’t charge any tax other that price for your Advanced Open Water Course.
6. Payment for your booking will be completed during registration in Go Aquatic dive center. All payment will be in Malaysian Ringgit currency ( MYR). You can pay in cash, using credit card, debit card, AliPay or WeChat Pay.