KOTA KINABALU: Many areas in the state’s interior, especially Lumadan constituency, have the potential to be developed for tourism.
Matbali Musah (PPBM-Lumadan) said, with the state government targeting four million international tourist arrivals this year, it would definitely have spillover effects on the economy and increase employment opportunities for the people.
He noted that the focus had always been on developing Kota Kinabalu, Ranau, Kudat, Kota Belud and the east coast of Sabah as tourism destinations.
“For example, in Weston, there are hundreds of foreigners from China who come to the town daily to see the proboscis monkey,” he said during the debate session of the 15th state assembly sitting.
“Besides Weston, other potential areas that can be developed are Garama, Bintuka, Suasa and Kota Klias.
“People in Lumadan are hoping the government, especially the Tourism Ministry, will find ways to develop those areas as new destinations.”
He said fishermen should be encouraged to participate in the tourism industry as fishing had become popular among locals and visitors.
He added that there was always a big turnout whenever fishing competitions were held.
“A guideline should be issued to assist fishermen to join the programme (in offering fishing and homestay packages) which involve logistics, selling and rental of fishing equipment, food supply, restaurants, rental boat, accommodation or homestays.
“The monthly incomes of fishermen are around RM1,000 or less.
“But by renting out a fishing boat to tourists at RM150 per day, they could generate RM3,000 in a month,” he added.
Article appeared on NST Online.