Tourism rakes in RM6.39 bln in first 10 months for Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: The tourism sector in Sabah raked in a revenue of RM6.396 billion in the first 10 months of 2017, says Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.

He said from the revenue earned, the state government paid RM741.15 million to the federal government in the form of corporate and income tax, including Goods and Services Tax, while another RM2.915 billion was injected into the state economy.

He said the remainder comprised company profits (25 per cent) and foreign remittance (20 per cent).

“Although the tourism sector does not contribute directly to the state government, it is still an important sector as it has huge impact on the state economy via spillover effects like employment opportunities for locals in the services sector,” Masidi said in the ministry’s winding-up speech at the state assembly here yesterday.

Masidi said in order to enhance the tourism sector, the ministry had allocated RM12 million next year to upgrade tourism facilities at resorts in rural areas. — Bernama


Source: Borneo Post

A new world ‘first’

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah now boasts a new global first that should appeal to extreme sports and other enthusiasts – Summit Pluton on Mt Kinabalu is the highest paragliding launching base at 13,000 feet above mean sea level.

“The new eco-tourism product will facilitate tourists who cannot stay longer in Sabah and could not make the usual climb,” said Sabah Parks Chairman Tengku Datuk Ser Dr Zainal Adlin Tengku Mahamood, at the 1Voluntourism: Mount Kinabalu programme.

“They can use the helicopter service and land at the Summit Pluton. Then glide down to the Kundasang tamu ground which will take about an hour, depending on the wind condition.”

He added, Kundasang and Ranau are suitable for air sports such as microlite and hot air balloon, thanks to its environment and wind condition.

“Throughout last year, some 14,000 tourists took part in paragliding activities in Ranau and we expect the figure to increase this year,” he said.

Six participants glided from the mountain in the 1Voluntarism: Mount Kinabalu programme organised by the State Tourism and Culture Ministry and Motac Sabah with the cooperation of Sabah Parks.

Motac Sabah Director Ag Ahmad Zaki Abu Bakar hoped the introduction of tourism products with niche market can promote Sabah as an eco-tourism destination, in line with the Ministry’s effort to promote ‘lung washing’ tourism.

He also urged visitors to the State to use the #SayangMalaysia hashtag on each photos posted on their social media, to support the campaign to make Sabah a well-known tourism destination in the world.


Source: Daily Express

Fun and surf in Kudat

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s tip of Borneo in Kudat will be alive with music, fun activities and water sports from Nov 24 to 26 as the Music and Surf Festival takes place during these days.

The event, which will be held at Kalampunian Beach, Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, will see an array of activities including a surfing competition and concert by local artistes for the public to enjoy.

Sabah Tourism Board (STB) chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said the three-day event was aimed at promoting the beautiful beaches of Kudat as a tourism destination for outdoor activities and surf culture.

“We also want to showcase the tradition and customs of the Rungus community there,” he said during a press conference on Thursday.

This festival will kickstart with a surfing competition on Nov 24, exclusively for participants while those who wish to try out this new sport in Sabah can do so the next two days.

Joniston said Kudat is named one of the best surfing destinations because of its seasonal waves varying from one to six feet, sandy beaches and clear water.

He said although surfing is a new adventure sport, especially among locals in Sabah, it is fast gaining popularity.

“Those interested in learning how to surf are encouraged to attend scheduled surf clinics on Nov 25 and 26,” he added.

The prize presentation for the surfing competition will be held on the last day of the festival.

Winners stand to take home cash prizes, trophies and goodie bags worth RM8,000.

Young surfers called Groms are also in the running for trophies, goodie bags and surf accessories worth of RM500 each.

There will also be a “Best in Borneo Surfer” title in search of the best performing local surfers too.

The admission-free concert, which will be held on Nov 25 from 4.30pm onwards, will feature artistes such as Atmosfera, Beverly Matujal, Francis Landong, Jonathan Tse, Ayumi Yusof, Sarma Cherry, Rhythm of Heartbeat Nature, Akar Rimba, and Borneo Cakrawala Band.

There will be a special appearance of Aunty Patrin (radio personality and YouTube character) and Rayner Pailus as well as Sabah’s Elvis Presley.

Festival-goers will be able to enjoy fire dance performances, and DJ Eflexx and brothers will be spinning music at night.

A “Dangers of Rip Current” Awareness Campaign and handicrafts exhibition will also be held during the event while food trucks will be parked throughout the programme to satisfy the taste buds of festival-goers.

The Music and Surf Fest @ The Tip Of Borneo, Kudat is an event organised by Sri Pelancongan Sabah with support from Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry and Sabah Tourism Board, Sabah Surf Association and Kudat District Office.

It is sponsored by Rip Curl, K2 and Tritonic.

For details, contact Winceslaus Gerald Autine of Sri Pelancongan Sabah at 088-232 121 or email

Contact Fina of the Sabah Surfing Association at 012-306 9977 for competition details.

Source: Star Online

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

Sabah government focuses on safety of tourists

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government will focus more on the tourism sector, especially the safety of tourists.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Raymond Tan Shu Kiah said the booming tourism sector required operators, hoteliers and other industry players to put in place safety protocols to better protect tourists.

“We take visitors to the mountains and islands, (because) those are our attractions, but they should not be compromised in terms of safety protocols.

“Tourism is not only about where we take tourists to, but it also involves food and lodging,” he said, adding that transportation was a huge safety concern in the industry.

Tan, who is also the state industrial development minister, said this after the launch of the two-day Fifth Borneo Occupational Safety and Health Conference and Exhibition (BOSH 2017) here today.

He said all tour operators must put in place safety measures apart from making sure their businesses were doing well.

“We will work with the small- and medium-sized enterprises in the tourism sector, with the collaboration of the National Occupational Safety and Health, to conduct training and provide certification in safety protocols to enhance the quality of services.”

Present were NIOSH chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, executive director Ayop Salleh and state manager Mohd Hussin Abd Salam.

Hussin said NIOSH was working closely with the Tourism and Culture Ministry and the state Tourism, Culture and Environment Department to tackle safety measures issues.

“Some tourists are not particular about their safety, that is why NIOSH wants to engage industry players to cope with the influx of tourists into the state. Safety is important, especially in water activities such as diving and snorkelling, and transport such as water taxis.

“More workshops will be held next year to assist hoteliers, operators and taxi operators to come up with procedures to suit their nature of business.”


Source: New Straits Times