Kota Kinabalu, March 12: Sabah and Kedah plan to co-develop new potential products to help both states’ tourism industries to grow.
Tourism, Culture, and Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said such engagement is necessary to understand the travel motivations and behaviour of tourists to both states.
“We want to attract as many domestic visitors as possible to Sabah; hence we need to know what Kedah people like so we can tailor a package to their needs, and vice versa.
“Sabah and Kedah are popular among international tourists.
“So, it makes sense to collaborate with the Kedah Tourism and other relevant parties to find ways of attracting more foreign tourists, especially from Langkawi, to Sabah,” he said.
Joniston, who chairs the Sabah Tourism Board (STB), stated that the board is also collaborating with other states to promote each other’s destinations, adding they are open to sharing expertise and ideas to reinvigorate the industry.
On Friday, STB represented by chief marketing officer Tay Shu Lan hosted a dinner for a delegation from the Kedah State Economic Planning Division and Kedah Tourism.
The delegation of 15 officers had met with the STB team led by chief financial officer Julinus Jeffery Jimit earlier in the day for a discussion and idea exchange.
Kedah State Economic Planning Division deputy director (sectoral) Faisal Rizal Mohammad said the objective of their visit was to gain an in-depth understanding of STB strategic management.
“In the discussion, we talked about engaging with Sabah Tourism to develop new products for both states and doing crossover product promotion.
“For instance, Kedah is well-known for its rice cultivation, while Sabah is famous for its beautiful seas. This type of product interchange is essential for attracting each other’s visitors.
“In addition, we are developing community-based tourism (CoBT) on the Kedah islands of Sonsong, Telur, and Bidan.
“These three islands feature beautiful corals.
“It is the goal of the Kedah government to assist the community in managing the islands so they can generate sustainable income through the CoBT concept,” he said.
Faisal added they sought to gain knowledge from STB’s achievement in building CoBT and boosting tourism on protected islands.
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