Training Rural Communities

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Kudat, March 26: Rural communities are urged to upgrade their skills and acquire digital marketing expertise as a means of promoting their tourism products or attractions.
State Tourism, Culture, and Environment Assistant Minister cum Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said digital marketing is the way forward to promote businesses in this technology-driven era.
“For the tourism business, internet marketing is more important than ever before, as clients can instantly find out about the latest deals, greatest pricing, and must-visit places.
“To be competitive in today’s tourism market, digital marketing is becoming a need, and rural tourism players must embrace the need to equip themselves with information technology (IT) knowledge,” he said at the digital marketing training for Kampung Tajau Laut community here, on Saturday.
Bangkuai also hoped that the government would expedite the installation of telecommunications towers in strategic areas, particularly in places with a strong potential for tourism development.
Twenty villagers participated in the digital training workshop conducted by Hello Sabah under the Sri Pelancongan Sabah, a subsidiary of the Sabah Tourism.
Bangkuai said Sabah Tourism had made a determined effort to raise knowledge of digital marketing and provide basic training to educate the Tajau Laut community about the importance of social media and how to live and work in this digital world.
“There is a lot of tourism potential in Kampung Tajau Laut that could be turned into community-based tourism. We need more of this rural tourism destination in our state to provide visitors with a unique experience.
“With the reopening of our international border soon, rural communities must prepare to accommodate visitors. Hence, social media plays a critical role in introducing a new place or product to prospective visitors,” he added.
From how to open a business email account to how to set up a professional Instagram account, the digital marketing workshop teaches the rural community about everything they need to know about how to use social media to promote their products and reach a wider audience.
The product does not necessarily have to be tied to tourism; it could also be related to food or crafts. Participants are also taught how to use e-booking services on – a dedicated platform for marketing Sabah’s rural tourism products.

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