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‘Memorable experience’ for World Tourism delegates
Published on: Sunday, December 04, 2022
By: Kan Yaw Chong
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Packed to the hilt at the World Tourism conference at the welcome dinner – sign of recovery?
MEMORABLE experience is an important dimension of the tourist experience.

Pay attention to good experience, says Singapore-hailed Jane Lim, Vice President of Trip Advisor Asia Pacific Biz Ops & Strategy at a World Tourism Panel discussion in Kota Kinabalu on November 28.

Jane Lim of Trip Advisor.

In fact, more and more tourists nowadays book experience, cultural experience is one of them, not necessarily destination, she reported what she sees in her data.

So, I asked a couple of UN World Tourism Organisation officials what’s their experience at the packed Welcome Dinner hosted by the Sabah State Government at the Sutera Magellan Ballroom that night.

“Oh, it’s wonderful, I mean very beautiful girls, they are the tallest I have ever seen,” said Ghanaian World Tourism Organisation Technical Advisor for Asia Pacific who identified herself only as Christine, in reference to the “Special Performance Enchanting Sabah – Nature at its Best” produced by Sabah Cultural Board and also the Fashion Show themed The Enchanting Batik Collection, presented by the Malaysian Handicraft Development Corporation or Kraftangan Malaysia.

Masidi (left), Ghanaian Christine (centre), Spaniard Javier (right)

The much-praised models with their designer.

A contemporary design for men (left pic). Inspirational textile art in this showcase (right pic).

Some happy dancers in traditional Murut women costumes, typically a sleeveless blouse.

Spirited Murut warriors and their pretty damsels can always deliver a climatic rousing end to Sabah’s cultural show not found elsewhere in Malaysia.

Sea Bajau dance of Semporna.

Javier Rubscas, another World Tourism Organisation who hails from Spain, said of the cultural extravaganza and fashion show: “It’s wonderful mix of indigenous Sabah culture for the different ethnic groups, so we get a glimpse a little bit of that. 

“I am not an expert in the different ethnic groups but it’s a beautiful show with different types of music especially the different types of costumes exactly, and beautiful models, beautiful music. So it’s a very nice dinner that we had today hosted by the Sabah State Government, we are very appreciative,” Javier said.

High flying traditional Lotud dance, Tuaran.

An enchanting Dusunic dance.

A gentle Orang Sungei dance.

Traditional Bajau dance.

Pretty young dancers emerge to set the stage for a climatic signature Murut dance.

Not to be out-gunned in the memorable experience, even Minister of Local Government and Housing, Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun, relished the home grown occasion: “It was a real party, the show was fantastic, everybody enjoyed themselves tremendously. I think Sabah is the best place to have the World Tourism Conference, we have everything, we have the beauty, we have the people (ethnic diversity and traditional tolerance), most of all we are a very gracious host,” he told Daily Express.  

Earlier in his speech, Masidi boasted: “Nine out of 10 tallest tropical trees are in Sabah, the special position of Mt Kinabalu though not tallest, is a treasure trove of 832 orchid species 14 of which endemic not found anywhere else, the wonders of Imbak Canyon and Danum Valley are so well protected where fish died of old age as I like to tell friends!”

Not shy either to claim a “crusader of conservation” title, he asserted: “Development without conservation is not in Sabah, it is not Sabah.” 

“Our motto in development was, and still is ‘less is more’, the less you disturb nature, the more money you can receive from tourism. Obviously this will continue to be our theme to achieve our goal in tourism,” Masidi concluded, citing Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park just 10 minutes right in front of KK, and the biggest – the one million-hectare Tun Mustpha Marine Park off Kudat.      

Capping his impression of the night, former Chairman of Sabah Tourism Board, Tengku Datuk Dr Adlin said: “It’s world class, it has to be, this is a World Tourism conference, it has to be at that level, we shine among the best.”


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December 20, 2014