Sabah’s tourist hotspots in need of makeover

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Source: The Star

KOTA KINABALU: Facilities and amenities at Sabah’s tourist destinations need to be upgraded to attract high-value tourists, says a Bersatu leader.

State Bersatu Wanita chief Rahimah Majid said that Sabah can not be content with budget holiday makers.

“Overtourism with budget travellers may not be a good thing in the long run.

“We need more high-value tourists who are willing to pay a premium price to experience our awesome nature, diverse culture, and unique cuisines,” she said.

In order to attract this group, Rahimah said facilities and amenities at the tourist spots must be upgraded to meet high expectations and provide a value-for-money experience, along with good services.

“Poor hygiene and cleanliness, bad infrastructure, as well as interrupted power and water supplies, are among the perennial issues and complaints received from both tourists and industry players,” she pointed out.

She said countries like Bhutan, New Zealand, Iceland, the Netherlands, Japan, and even Indonesia and Thailand have started implementing policies and programmes to attract high-quality and high-value tourists.

Rahimah also called for effective policies, plans and solutions to be worked out to boost the tourism industry.

She suggested that brainstorming sessions be held to solve water and other infrastructure woes, apart from carrying out engagement events with key stakeholders to identify shortcomings and issues facing the industry.

“This is crucial to resuscitate and rejuvenate our lacklustre tourism industry in the post-pandemic period,” she added.

She said such sessions could also help to map out strategies to better safeguard and preserve Sabah’s invaluable environment for posterity.

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