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Sabah adopts Tourism Recovery Plan to promote its tourism in wake of COVID-19 crisis

Sabah adopts Tourism Recovery Plan to promote its tourism in wake of COVID-19 crisis
May 9, 2020

Under the Sabah Tourism Recovery Plan, the Malaysian state of Sabah is expecting to make changes in promoting tourism once the Covid-19 pandemic ends. It is hoped that the recovery plan will be in place by the end of the year, or early next year.

Malaysian Deputy Chief Minister and State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew said the Sabah Tourism Recovery Plan for domestic and international segments would be put in place once the pandemic subsides.

Minister Liew advises "we are looking at the bright side and hoping that the recovery plan can be put in place without a hitch by year-end or next year.

The departments involved include Sabah Tourism Board (STB), Sabah Cultural Board, Sabah Parks, Sabah Wildlife Department, Sabah Museum Department and Environment Protection Department.

Minister Liew noted that the Ministry's permanent secretary Dr Jamili Nais, his deputy Mariam Omar Matusin and principal assistant secretary Principal Mary Malangking would be spearheading the efforts in formulating the tourism recovery plan.

Minister Liew added "for a start, we will apply to the Ministry of Finance for allocations to upgrade and improve our existing tourism products, including infrastructure and maintenance of all our facilities.

"Once the Movement Control Order (MCO) is lifted, we expect to begin improving the Sabah Cultural Centre building, the Poring Hotspring chalets, Petagas Memorial Hall and the Tawau Hills Park.”

The focus on international tourism aims to shift from mass tourism to high-yield, upmarket segment for maximum returns.

STB General Manager, Noredah Othman advised they were also looking at encouraging locals to tourist hotspots including offering half prices on entrance fees for Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, State Museum and Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, covering five islands.

Sabah Wildlife Director Augustine Tuuga noted the department would oversee the maintenance of Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre in Sandakan and the development of the proposed Elephant Food Corridor, in a yet-to-be-identified area within the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary.

Sabah Parks, headed by Dr Maklarin Lakim, will implement coral reef re-generation works, as well as coral planting project at Simpang Mengayau (Tip of Borneo).

Image: The Lok Kawi Wildlife Park is run by Sabah Wildlife Department under the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment.

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