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Tenom: The Federal Tourism Ministry has approved a total RM300,000 for the promotion of the Sabah Agriculture Park at Lagud Sebrang here.
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen approved RM100,000 for the Sabah Agriculture Park Orchid Festival beginning next year, aimed at promoting the park to both domestic and international visitors.
She also approved RM200,000 as applied for by the park management to provide information signage for all the new hybrid species in the park.
For the festival, she said the impact on boosting the number of visitors to the park would be assessed first to see if it could be continued.
Speaking during her maiden visit to the park here Wednesday, Ng said the park that was built in 1981 has about 350 orchid species in its collection and ranked as among the best in the region.
In fact, she said Malaysia ranked 12th biggest in the world in terms of its flora and fauna.
“We are a bit disappointed that the Sabah Agriculture Park is not recording the number of visitors so that we can monitor its performance.
This park is so mesmerising, furthermore there are so many flowers and herbs such as the clerodendrum,” she said.
On the information signage, Ng urged the park management to make it with quality with tourism features as an added attraction for the visitors.
Meanwhile, she said last year the tourism sector contributed RM58.4 billion to the country with 24.7 million arrivals and from among them three million came to Sabah producing a tourism receipt of RM5 billion.
“We hope the Sabah Agriculture Park will be able to cooperate with tourism agents to include the park as among the destinations in their tourism calendar.
“All the activities must be included in a package,” she said.
Hoteliers and homestay operators must also offer reasonable rates but most importantly the surroundings must be kept clean and equipped with facilities such public transportation, she said.
“Tourists prefer to stay in budget hotels rather than the luxury type,” she said.
Accompanying Ng were Sabah Tourism Promotion Board Chairman, Datuk Tengku Adlin, his deputy, Datuk Sari Suhut and State Agriculture Director, Datuk M C Ismail.
She was greeted by Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister, Datuk Radin Malleh and District Officer, Siriman M F Basir as well as other senior government officers and local community leaders.
Source : Daily Express