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More domestic tourists coming
Published on: Saturday, November 18, 2023
By: Anthea Peter
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More domestic tourists coming
Hajiji was pleased to note that even amidst recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, initiatives by the Ministry (KePKAS) and Sabah Tourism Board (STB) have yielded progress, especially the CoBT sector.
Kota Kinabalu: Some 224,356 tourists visited rural tourism destinations in Sabah last year, yielding nearly RM8 million in receipts which signifies positive growth in the State’s Community-Based Tourism (CoBT) sector.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said there is potential for much bigger growth, as the figures only reflected tourist arrivals in Kadamaian (Kota Belud), Kiulu (Tuaran) and Tambunan. 

“I believe the figures could be higher and will continue to grow with joint aggressive push in promoting rural tourism by all District Tourism Action Councils and District Tourism Associations throughout the state,” he said in his speech read by Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Joniston Bangkuai at the launch of the Sabah CoBT Expo at Suria Sabah Shopping Mall, Friday. 

Hajiji was pleased to note that even amidst recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, initiatives by the Ministry (KePKAS) and Sabah Tourism Board (STB) have yielded progress, especially the CoBT sector.

He called on the relevant stakeholders to develop CoBT more aggressively, due to its great potential in spurring economic growth in Sabah and its rural areas. 

He added that KePKAS and STB can rely on the State Government’s full support to tap the full potential of CoBT.

He said tourism is one of the Sabah’s main pillars of economic growth under the Hala Tuju Sabah Maju Jaya development plan and the State Government will invest in infrastructure and skills development for rural community tourism. 

“I want to see Sabah’s rural community tourism be at par, if not better, with those in other countries. 

“The State Government welcomes efforts by the STB and the Federation of Rural Tourism Associations Sabah (FeRTAS) so that CoBT has its own brand, a positive step toward improving service and facility quality.   

“The State Government also welcomed the call by STB Chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai during the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) general assembly for rural community-based tourism to be given special attention by the world body,” he said. 

Hajiji assured that the State Government would continue to back the efforts for Sabah’s CoBT to achieve 80 per cent Asean Standard compliance by 2030. 

On the three-day expo, Hajiji said it would serve as a transformation plan for Sabah’s CoBT, showcasing the rural community’s strength, and offering tourists an authentic experience.  

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