DEVELOPING TOURISM IN THE INTERIOR OF SABAH
KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Tourism Board product team is putting forth an effort to help transform Bingkor township in Sabah’s interior into a sustainable rural tourism destination.
The team had recently carried out an engagement with 47 Village Development and Security Committees (JPKK) in the Mukim Bingkor to explore tourism potential in their respective area.
Organised in collaboration with the Keningau Tourism and Culture Association, the engagement session was officiated by State Assistant Public Works minister and Bingkor assemblyman Datuk Robert Tawik.
Sabah Tourism Board chief financial officer Julinus Jeffrey Jimit said rural areas such as Bingkor have a great deal of potential to become a draw factor for tourists looking to travel into the interior of the state.
“While we encourage tourists to visit Sabah and experience the state’s major attractions, we equally encourage them to explore the countryside and interact with the local community to get the most out of their visit.
“It is part of the product team’s role to support rural communities in consistently unlocking their potential and creating opportunities for them to thrive through tourism,” he explained.
During the engagement session, Julinus gave a presentation on the tourism industry and how rural communities can benefit from it, especially now that travel is fully resumed with the reopening of the country’s border.
Among other things, the programme aimed to raise awareness among JPKK representatives about tourism products that can be developed, particularly community-based tourism products in Bingkor.
Additionally, they were also briefed on the importance of equipping themselves with digital marketing skills to efficiently market their tourism products.
Julinus added similar engagement would be expanded to Keningau and other districts soon to empower and reach out to as many rural communities as possible.
Bingkor is about 10 kilometres from Keningau and has a predominantly Dusun population. Nature, culture, and handicrafts are abundant in the area, but they have yet to be developed.
At the moment, Bingkor does not have a community-based tourism offering, but the development of Bandukan Eco Park is in the works.
The community will manage the new tourism product, with assistance and training from the Sabah Tourism Board.
In addition, the Keningau Tourism and Culture Association will work with Sabah Tourism to use QR codes to capture visitors to Bingkor.
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