Thursday, May 28, 2009

Making birds nest harvesting at Gomantong a tourism attraction

Kota Kinabalu: The Gomantong Caves in Kinabatangan have huge potential to be developed as another new tourism product that will also provide economic opportunities to the residents nearby, said Sukau Assemblyman Saddi Abdul Rahman.

Thus, he has proposed an annual celebration of birds nest harvesting at the caves - which have been the natural habitats for the swiftlets for ages - to attract tourists, particularly foreign visitors.

Saddi said he had submitted the proposal to develop Gomantong Caves as a new tourism product to the Sandakan Municipal Council, Kinabatangan District Office and the Wildlife Department in Sandakan last year.

He said he was made to understand that a feasibility study will be carried out on the viability of the proposal.

"If this proposal is approved by the State government, it would be suitable to make the swiftlets' nests the main product of Kinabatangan in tandem with the Government's 'One District, One Product' vision.

Saddi said the Gomantong Caves are situated not far from the Kinabatangan township and that it would take about 30 minutes to drive there.

"The workers would harvest the nests four times a year in February and April. So, we should take advantage of this and develop the caves as an interesting place to visit," he said.

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