Friday, June 13, 2008

Fuel price hike ‘may affect Sabah tourism’

KOTA KINABALU: The fuel price hike may affect the tourism industry in Sabah.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said people would be more prudent in their spending and as such, they are likely to reduce traveling or even cancel their holiday plans.

“But I believe we can surmount many of these constraints and challenges on both international and local travel scene if we have a clear understanding of the visitor generating markets, their needs, and visitor behavior and respond accordingly with appropriate marketing and product development strategies,” he said.

Launching a seminar on Sabah Tourism Industry Towards 2025: “Strengthening Sabah Tourism Towards A Vibrant Premier Tourism Destination” here yesterday, he urged tourism industry players to attract higher yielding and longer staying tourists who could contribute to the economy as well as the sustainable use and management of resources.

At the same time, Masidi also touched on the importance of the sustainable management and conservation of resources and the long term future of the industry.

He stressed that many of Sabah’s attractions have been given some form of protection such as gazetting the parks, reserves and wildlife sanctuaries.

The state government, he added, was serious about placing more areas under some form of protection not only for tourism but also for life supporting environmental services.

He said the government intended to gazette one million hectares in the north of Sabah for the proposed Tun Mustapha Park, and recently, the Sabah Foundation has also voluntarily designated the Imbak Canyon as a conservation area for research.

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