More efforts to promote rural attractions next year – STA

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Tourist Association (STA) will embark on more efforts to promote rural tourist destinations in the coming year.

Chairman Tonny Chew said STA, with support from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture (MOTAC) and Tourism Malaysia, would assist second-tier cities in promoting local tourism products.

“We want to help them promote and market their products so they can benefit from spill over in the industry, because they may not know how to get their product out there.

“This effort could provide them with a better platform for them to get their products into the market,” Tonny told reporters during the annual STA year-end gathering at Lucy’s Kitchen, Kinabalu Golf Club Tanjung Aru, Friday night.

He said STA plans to promote rural tourist destinations more aggressively through familiarisation trips in order to promote new or under-exposed products.

He added that existing locations would be revisited to explore new accommodation and features in places such as Kudat, Semporna, Tawau, Sandakan and Danum Valley.

Tonny also said industry players should work together and collaborate to share resources for the development of the tourism industry as a whole, instead of writing each other off as competitors.

“If we see each other as competitors from the very beginning, we close our doors to a lot of opportunities and create barriers.

“We may be doing the same thing, offering the same product or service, but that doesn’t mean we cannot work together.

“We should think of ways to collaborate and work closely to form associates and support each other.

“There are a lot of things we can learn from each other by sharing our experiences and resources, thus creating a win-win situation and foster better management as well as reduce operating cost,” he said.

Earlier in his welcoming address, Tonny thanked MOTAC and Tourism Malaysia for their continued support in making STA activities a success.

He said gatherings such as this served as a good platform for STA members, government representatives and members of the media to exchange ideas, experiences and mingle to discuss issues, as well as to show appreciation to members who had been supportive throughout the years.


Source: Borneo Post

600 go head-to-head in Sabah’s 3rd Kiulu Adventure Challenge

KIULU: Over 600 people put their endurance to the test in the 3rd Kiulu Adventure Challenge 2017 here on Sunday.

The adventure race saw local and international participants cycle 30km past several villages; and run 13km along the Kiulu river, which is an international water rafting hotspot.

Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said that this year’s participation is encouraging, having exceeded its goal of 500 participants.


“This is also the first time Pekan Kiulu became the start and end point for the challenge. (Situating the race there), where 50 stalls were set up during the challenge, will benefit local traders and entrepreneurs.

“Not only is this is a sporting event, it is also a platform to promote the handicraft and traditional food and drink of the local community,” he told reporters after flagging-off the event.

Meanwhile, on the subject of tourism, the Kiulu assemblyman said that the construction of adequate infrastructure should be given emphasis to help develop rural tourism.

This includes improving roads, and providing clean water and power supply to rural areas.

“Therefore, I hope that the villagers and local community leaders will continue to give their support to rural tourism, thus boosting the economy of Kiulu,” Joniston added


Source: New Straits Times

MATTA welcomes move to boost rural tourism in Sabah

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) is glad that the Sabah state government is channelling funds for infrastructure development to boost rural tourism.
MATTA president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said he welcomed the announcement by Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman during the tabling of the budget on Friday (Nov 17).
He said that as arrivals of international tourists had contributed significantly to Sabah’s economy with its spin-off effect rippling across the state, RM228mill had been allocated to support the sustainability of tourism programmes.
“The state government is also stepping up efforts to develop rural tourism, with Kiulu and Kadamaian selected for pilot projects,” said Tan.
He added in a statement on Sunday that these sanctuaries are ideal for soft adventures such as hiking and trekking,
Tan also said that an additional RM15mil was allocated to encourage rural communities to be involved in providing facilities for community based tourism, such as homestay programmes, recreational centres and tourism centres with public toilets; developing, upgrading or commercialising eco-tourism products, ranging from conservation of local species to promoting native cultures, arts and handicrafts.
“Rural folks need not be bystanders and merely watch those in urban areas reap the benefits of tourism. By empowering them to participate in eco-tourism, they need not leave their ancestral land, heritage and traditions,” said Tan.
Source: The Star

CM sees creative industry potential

KOTA KINABALU: Tan Sri Musa Haji Aman has expressed confidence that the creative industry can grow into a dynamic sector in the future.

The Chief Minister said this sector has an important role to support the needs of the community in both urban and rural areas, and that its growth is the hallmark of a maturing society which values its creative roots and culture.

In his speech at the launch of a seminar on ‘Nurturing Sabah’s Rural Creative Communities’ at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort here yesterday, he said the development of the creative industry locally needed to focus on the various strengths and advantages that Sabah has in terms of creative resources.

The text of his speech was delivered by Special Tasks Minister Datuk Teo Chee Kang. “Sabah is well recognised as culturally diverse with vast resources in the fields of performing arts, visual arts, film and handicraft.

“The state also has a substantial pool of creative talents who have consistently proven their abilities at national level, as well as actors and film-makers currently involved in the screen industry locally and nationally,” he said.

And, he also said Sabah was also an internationally-established tourist destination, particularly in nature tourism. Sabah’s assortment of world class natural attractions, abundance of flora and fauna and unique wildlife, he said, also made the state an attractive destination for documentary projects and commercial photography, apart from film making.

The Chief Minister added that the three main niche areas Sabah could focus on were cultural heritage, performing arts and creative media.

“This ‘uniquely Sabah’ approach will provide the best prospect for us to position the state in the national and global creative industries market,” he said.

Musa added that although most of the measures surrounding the development of the creative industry was centred at urban areas, most of its creative assets could be considered to be ‘rural-centric’ and particular key ‘creative place’ strengths that existed in rural areas could attract creative workers.

Rural innovations, he said, could be driven by urban demand and the creative industry often dispersed a range of creative products, services and experiences that had been pioneered in urban areas but new to the economy of many rural places.

Musa also said developing creative industries in rural areas generated potential for sustainable high-quality enterprises and employment opportunities and would contribute to rural diversification.

Growth in such products and services, he added, correlated to rising levels of disposable income and better education.

“Hence, the role of creative industries in rural areas must be more widely acknowledged and better understood by local governments in order to pursue innovation policies and plans aimed at rural development.

“In particular, policy should routinely integrate the creative industry in plans for town centre re-development, as well as tourism strategies and marketing initiatives to help attract and retain skilled and creative individuals.

“In tandem with this, the development of government institutional support can be driven by groups in the creative industry.

“Some of the strategic measures of the government to develop the sector have taken off such as in creating a talent pool to support the sector successfully.

“And, this includes work through the creative industries cluster under the Working Committee on Nurturing Human Capital in Sabah co-chaired by IDS and SEDIA which has progressed positively and shown encouraging results,” Musa said.

According to him, policymakers have been interested in the creative industry given its size and growth and that its impact had been clearly demonstrated through its contribution to economic growth of certain countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Japan.

This industry, he said, had also been identified as the cornerstone in the transformation of economies in places like New Zealand, South Korea and Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, he said the seminar was relevant, especially when the success of our State’s development efforts today partly hinge on grass-roots participation. This will be an opportune time for the government, private sector and related stakeholders to work closely to intensify sharing of knowledge, thoughts and insights on how we can continue to enhance our efforts and resources towards the development of an exciting and potential new growth sector for Sabah.

He also said the first multipurpose community theatre or Black Box Theatre in Sabah had been established and was gaining popularity among Sabahans and tourists alike.

In addition, he said the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC), expected to be completed by next year, would include a world standard Performing Arts Centre to cater for regional and international concerts and events. “There is an increasing number of creative events such as the on-going community awareness project, Sabah Glow, which was successfully organised by IINSCAPE recently”.

Yesterday’s seminar was organised by the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) Sabah in partnership with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) and in collaboration with the Society of Performing Arts Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (SPArKS).

Also present were IDS chairman Datuk Clarence Bongkos and chief executive officer Datuk Hasnol Ayub as well as the president of SPArKS Roger Wang.

Source : New Sabah Times

Firm, UMS to develop village into tourist attraction

KOTA KINABALU: Kampung Tambisan could become the next major tourist destination in Sabah.

Tambisan Travel and Tours Sdn. Bhd. managing director Antin Ismail said the village in the interior of Lahad Datu boasts rich flora and fauna, which was what inspired him to promote localsˇ way of life and culture.

¨I think the activities carried out by locals in Kampung Tambisan can be developed into a tourism product.

¨With the involvement and positive acceptance of the community towards the importance of tourism, we have decided to help develop the industry in Kampung Tambisan,〃 he said in his opening address at the letter of intent signing between Tambisan Travel and Tours Sdn. Bhd. and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).

In addition to raising awareness on the role of tourism in preserving and conserving the environment, the collaboration is also to implement community-based tourism in Kampung Tambisan as well as to provide a guideline, he added.

UMS Faculty of Business, Economics and Accountancy Dean, Associate Professor Dr Raman Nordin, said community-based tourism was a form of sustainable tourism that could positively impact the lives of locals and improve socio-economy.

¨I believe with cooperation from the local community, Tambisan is able to succeed in the project and serve as an example to other community-based tourism models in other places,〃 he said.

Dr Raman also expressed hope for a stronger collaboration such as through a memorandum of understanding, so that all parties can benefit from the initiative.

Source: Borneo Post