The Sabah Tourism Board is encouraging Bruneians to experience life with the local Sabah community for a more relaxed and wholesome holiday experience.
Speaking to The Bruneian during the recent Sabre Brunei Travel Fair 2022 at One City Shopping Centre, the board’s marketing manager, Zarinah Hj Amiludin said that Bruneians usually frequent well-known areas in Sabah such as Kundasang and Kota Kinabalu.
“Now that the borders have opened, we want to encourage Bruneians to come back to Sabah and visit more of our attractions.”
“Before the pandemic, they would usually go to Kundasang and Kota Kinabalu, however, we also have other areas of interest waiting to be explored, which is why we want to promote community tourism beyond well-known areas,” she added.
These areas include Kudat, Tenom and Kota Belud, with many activities to offer, waiting for visitors to explore and discover.
According to Zarinah, these districts were selected to promote sustainable tourism and to include Sabah as one of the most recognisable eco-tourism destinations.
Additionally, it is to encourage visitors to enjoy a more relaxing lifestyle particularly as tourism will be managed and handled mainly by the local community.
“This is so that when they receive guests, visitors will experience an authentic lifestyle of the local community and economic spending will return to these communities.”
Zarinah said interested tourists can either go through a travel agent or travel by themselves to experience the various escapades in Sabah.
“If they go through an agent, the package will include transportation, food and other essentials. They can also have the freedom to reach these areas independently. Either way, we welcome Bruneians to visit these communities any time they can.”
As these attractions are in the rural area and take a few hours of travel from Kota Kinabalu, guests are recommended to stay at the provided homestays at least for one night to experience the community, food and activities that include visiting paddy fields and fishing at the riverside.
Zarinah said the prices of the travel package depend on how long visitors plan on staying.
“Visits to these attractions can start from as low as $50 if they just want to have a day trip and have a picnic by the riverside.”
For those travelling to Sabah for the first time, Zarinah recommends going to Kota Belud as it is the most accessible district from Kota Kinabalu.
“Kota Belud has a few homestays that visitors can book directly with the owners and while they are there, they can also visit Tegudon village where they can set up camp near a clean river – refreshing particularly in the morning,” said Zarinah.
She further added that there are many attractions in Sabah that have yet to be explored than just islands and mountains.
“You can experience our breathtaking sunsets by river cruise, go to our local markets and have some fresh local seafood.”
“Sabah is enchanting – from mountain hikes to ocean dips. Those looking for diving destinations are also in for a treat as we have amazing destinations around the east coast area just for that,” said Zarinah.
For further information, interested visitors can visit https://www.sabahtourism.com/ or https://www.tourism.gov.my/.
THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN