Shangri-La's Sanctuary enhanced into protected Rasa Ria Reserve
Published on: Friday, October 12, 2018

Tuaran: The site for the Sanctuary – Shangri-La's Care for Nature project has been re-developed and enhanced into the protected Rasa Ria Reserve.Commending the efforts by Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort and Spa, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew said, she hoped guests will continue to learn more about the importance of the conservation of both flora and fauna in the State by visiting the 64-acre site.

"The new activities in the reserve encompass conservation and educational programmes through nature and active experiences such as jungle trails, a discovery centre, canopy walkway, waterfall garden area and adventure point," she said when launching the Rasa Ria Reserve, here, Thursday.

The nature reserve which sits within the resort is owned and managed by the resort and leads the group's educational Sanctuary project, established in 1996 to protect an ecological asset and endangered species endemic to Sabah.

The programme, Liew who is also Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister said, has proven to be successful as it allows visitors a one-stop experience for both accommodation and nature.

"The resort also managed to conduct a successful collaboration with the Sabah Wildlife Department and Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre for 20 years from 1996-2016, and I am pleased that the passion for conservation remains strong in the resort to this day."

The new discovery centre in the reserve serves as an educational hub for guests to learn about the indigenous long-tailed macaques, western tarsiers, bear cats and the huge-eyed slow loris, as well as over 60 species of birds, 100 species of butterflies, pangolins and a spectrum of native plants.

It is also the gateway to the reserve's trail system, covering eight kilometres of walks through the tropical jungle.

Shangri-La's Rasa Ria Resort and Spa general manager Fiona Hagan said they will continue to promote the uniqueness of Sabah with the cooperation of all quarters.

Such initiative, she said, will lead to an increase in visitor arrivals which will benefit everyone, especially in the travel and trade sector.

Liew also said it is important for Sabah Tourism Board (STB) and the travel and trade sectors to come together to share ideas and exchange experiences to help support and further develop Sabah as a unique destination.

Meanwhile, Liew also commended the resort's corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative called Embrace, where they are currently working with two schools here – SK Lapasan and SM St James Tenghilan.

"Under the programme, the resort has helped to improve infrastructure, living quarters and to provide filtration systems for clear drinking system.

"Students from both schools are actively involved with the resort's various CSR activities, including regular visits to the Rasa Ria Reserve," she said.

Also present were Shangri-La Hotels (Malaysia) Bhd Managing Director Kay Kuok, Tourism Malaysia Sabah director Jamilah Abdul Halim, Sabah Parks Board of Trustees Chairman Datuk Seri Tengku Dr Zainal Adlin Tengku Mahamood, STB General Manager Suzaini Ghani and Sri Pelancongan Sabah General Manager Zachary Mobijohn. - Ricardo Unto


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