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Kiulu to develop its mulberry industry

KOTA KINABALU: Kiulu is going to develop its mulberry industry, said Sabah Tourism Board (STB) chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai.

The Kiulu assemblyman said he hoped to turn Kiulu into a food hub for the production of local fruits as well as in the production of mulberry.

He added that the climate and soil condition in Kiulu were suited for mulberry farming.

Presently, mulberry is being planted at Kampung Tudan, an isolated village which is 50 kilometres away from Kiulu.

The project was initiated by students participating in the National Enactus competition that was held in Kuala Lumpur recently. The students won the competition and would be going for the world cup competition which will be held in London next month.

According to a senior director of the University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) Research and Entrepreneurial centre, Dr Bonaventure Boniface during a press conference held at the STB office near here yesterday, the students started the project five months ago and got the involvement of 56 people from the village cooperative.

The villagers have planted 1,500 trees and have produced mulberry tea, skin whitening lotion utilising mulberry extracts and bottled sparkling water.

“We hope STB can help us in marketing the products produced by the villagers,” said Dr Bonaventure.

The proposal to market the products was received positively by STB and Joniston said STB had a marketing body, Sri Pelancongan, which could help promote the product at its network of shops.

“We plan to open more shops in the future,” he said.

He also told members of the cooperative from the village that plans have been made to improve the road from Tudan to Kiulu.

He added that once the road was completed, it would be easier for the  the villagers to market their produce.

The majority of the folk living in the village work as farmers but until recently, they have not been exposed to the true potential of the mulberry plants that are found in their village.

The business of the villagers has also remained stagnant due to the lack of sales channels and communal cooperation among the villagers.

The project, dubbed  the Morus project, has increased the monthly income of the villagers from RM517 per month to RM700.

The project has also brought about better communal cooperation between the villagers through the establishment of the village cooperative and they also have been exposed to business and cultivation management through workshops conducted by Enactus UMS.

In general, the aim of the project is to help the community to improve their living standard and economy.

Source: The Borneo Post

Promoting rural tourism in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is optimistic that rural tourism will gain popularity and benefit locals in the long run.

Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said the recent Rural Tourism roadshow held at a shopping mall was a success.

“The two-day inaugural roadshow attracted 10,000 visitors and the number of people visting the four promoted places-Tambunan, Kiulu, Ranau, Kadamaian-is also increasing.

“Most districts in the state have also activated their committees to develop rural tourism at their places,” he said during a press conference on Universiti Malaysia Sabah’s (UMS) Mulberry project with the people of Kampung Tudan.

Joniston added rural tourism products would not only benefit the industry but also help to generate income among villagers.

On the mulberry project at Kampung Tudan, which is about 50 kilometers from here, he said the villagers should consider setting up homestays.

“Now that the village has become UMS’ pilot project on mulberry cultivation with its leaves processed into tea, lotion and other items, it can be developed in eco and agrotourism,” he said, adding the village is also producing stingless bee honey.

Joniston, who is also Kiulu state assemblyman, added the road infrastructure to the village would soon be upgraded.

The mulberry products, branded as Tudan Mulberry, will be marketed and sold via the board’s subsidiary company Sri Pelancongan Sabah Sdn Bhd.

Source: New Straits Times

China kids shooting reality show in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: China’s reality show entitled ‘Youth of China 3 – Nanyang Classroom’ has arrived in Sabah to shoot four episodes featuring the local tourism and culture here.

A group of eight children from China visited Sabah Tshung Tsin Secondary School (STTSS) yesterday, where they joined the students in writing Chinese calligraphy as well as cycling with Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai.

The children just returned from their trip to Keningau and Tenom on August 12.

A total of 32 selected children from different provinces in China are coming to Sabah to shoot the reality show, co-produced by China Central Television (CCTV) and Dino Brandwork.

The Chinese youths will be shooting a total of eight episodes – four in West Malaysia and four in Sabah in the month of August. Each episode features a different group of eight children.

Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Satta) president Datuk Seri Winston Liaw said four episodes would be filmed in Sabah for more than 10 days.

Liaw said CCTV orginally wanted to spend three days to film in Kota Kinabalu, but he had recommended the film crew to visit Keningau, Tenom and Sandakan as well.

“Many of our travel agencies in Sandakan have requested Satta to promote the area more.

“Hopefully more Chinese tourists will start going to Sandakan in 2018 after the reality show is broadcasted in December this year in China, as well as other rural towns as the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) has undertaken efforts to promote rural tourism.”

He said the filming not only promoted our rural tourism, but also provided a platform for cultural exchange between the local and Chinese participants.

Liaw said Yeo was included in the filming of the reality show to promote cycling as a leisure activity for tourists given that the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) has 120 bicycles for tourists to utilize free of charge.

Source: The Borneo Post

Trans Borneo expedition to bring Sabah, S’wak, Indonesia closer

KOTA KINABALU: The Trans Borneo 2017 expedition will not only introduce Sabah to the world, but also bring the people of Sabah, Sarawak and Indonesia closer.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun hoped that the activity would integrate the people of different states and countries and could possibly be expanded to commercial relationship in future.

He said the participants would be covering a wider area this year travelling through Sabah, Kalimantan, Sarawak and Brunei in 15 days.

“The participants will be travelling on a new route which is even more challenging compared to the previous years,” said Masidi.

He said the participants would also be taking a special route from Tawau to Indonesia without boarding the ferry, made possible by the Malaysian and Indonesian governments.

“We hope that the route they travel on will not only suit their taste for adventure, but also enable people-to-people interaction from all the states and countries involved,” Masidi said after flagging off the participants in front of Sabah Tourism Board (STB) here yesterday.

The event involved 16 4×4 vehicles and about 60 participants from Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Australia, China, Thailand and Japan.

Hailed as the ‘mother’ of all 4×4 events in Borneo, the expedition organized by North Borneo Explorer Sdn Bhd is held from August 13 to 27. The road adventure will start from Sabah, crossing into Kalimantan Utara and Kalimantan Timur, and back to Sarawak through the last frontiers in Borneo, from Malinau to Ba’kelalan, before ending at Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei.

The event will cover approximately 2,000 kilometres of on-road and off-road experience, ending in Brunei Darussalam where a dinner will be hosted by the Brunei 4×4 association.

Masidi said the foreign media who were covering the event would also give tourism mileage to Sabah as the organizer for the event.

“All these are part of our effort to introduce Sabah to the world.

“More than that, it is our initiative to bring the people in Sabah, Sarawak and Indonesia closer.

“We hope the event will integrate the people in all the areas involved, and possibly expand the relationship to commercial (ties) in the future,” he said.

Masidi added that the Pan Borneo Highway would also integrate the people in this part of the world as travelling would be much easier.

“The Trans Borneo is obviously going to be an initiative to make people realize that travelling between Kalimantan, Indonesia, or rather the Borneo states of Sabah and Sarawak will become easy.

“Hopefully along the way travellers can tell our neighbours more about our State. It will only be good for the tourism industry in the future.”

Also present were Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai, Kota Kinabalu Member of Parliament Jimmy Wong, STB general manager Gordon Yapp and Sabah Land Rover Club president Datuk Henry Hing.

Source: The Borneo Post

Cindy is Miss Sabah Tourism

KOTA KINABALU: Freelance model Cindy Foo was crowned this year’s Miss Sabah Tourism during the state-level grand finals at Hakka Hall here on Friday night.

The 27-year-old cut her teeth starring in promotional videos to boost tourism in the Chinese market while also participating in various pageants, namely Sabah Model of the Year, Miss Earth Sabah and later Miss Earth Malaysia.

In her past endeavours, Cindy clinched the titles of Sabah Model of the Year in 2012 and Miss Sabah Air the following year.

Of all the pageants she had participated in, Cindy admitted Miss Sabah Tourism was the most well-rounded one as it helped develop participants as a whole and did not focus solely on appearances.

“Through Miss Sabah Tourism, I’ve had the opportunity to participate in various activities that bring a lot of meaning, like visiting an old folks’ home and spending time with the residents there.

“This pageant also provided public speaking lessons as well as catwalk lessons, which obviously came in very handy during the competition itself.

“We also did a lot of video shooting during this pageant, so we definitely gained a lot of exposure doing different things,” she said.

With her newly awarded title, Cindy said she would continue using her modelling platform to promote tourism, culture and friendship, in line with the pageant’s slogan.

While she has just been crowned Miss Sabah Tourism 2017, the beauty queen already has projects lined up to shoot movies in Penang later this year and in Sabah early next year, the latter of which will be introduced to the China market.

As this year’s winner, Cindy took home a cash prize of RM3,000 and a RM1,399 New York Fitness VIP membership card valid for one year.

She also received the subsidiary title of Miss New York Fitness, adopted by New York Fitness, in which she bagged another year’s VIP membership pass.

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Claudieyamax Aloysius was crowned first runner-up and Eleanor Ng, 24, as second runner-up.

Each winner received cash prizes and a New York Fitness VIP membership worth RM1,399, valid for a year.

All three finalists will represent Sabah in Miss Malaysia Tourism at a later date.

Miss Sabah Tourism 2017 was organised by Poise Productions and presented by SG Group, with former Miss Malaysia Tourism 2009, Weena Marcus, as pageant State Director.

Gold sponsors of the event included Avangio Hotel, Imago Shopping Mall, New York Fitness and Sheila Liaw Make Up Academy, with silver sponsors Emvee Productions, Wilti-Jos, Pick n Pay, The Crab House Seafood Restaurant, Classic Holidays, Breeze magazine, Batik Bayu, Borneo Proboscis Destinations Sdn. Bhd. and the Sabah Tourism Board.

Also present at the grand final were Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun, president and owner of Miss Malaysia Tourism Tan Sri Datuk Danny Ooi and deputy CEO of SG Group Steven Low.

Source: The Borneo Post