Friday, September 13, 2013

Big tourism potential in complementary healthcare in Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: Traditional and complementary healthcare could be developed as tourism product in Sabah, said Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun.

He said it would help attract more foreign visitors while at the same time help provide economic opportunities for the local people.

Masidi said alternative treatment utilizing traditional healthcare wisdom, such as traditional foot massage, has a tremendous potential to be promoted among tourists.

He said increasing the number of foreign visitors to Sabah, especially those from China, would provide a big market that can be exploited by the local operators providing this service.

“Based on statistics, China contributed the highest or about 84 per cent of tourist arrivals in Sabah in the first seven months this year… and I believe many of them would like to have traditional treatment here.

“We also expect more of the Chinese holiday makers will come to Sabah, especially with the scheduled visit of their president this October,” he said when officiating at the opening of Wong’s TCM Treatment Centre at Millenium Plaza here yesterday.

Masidi also urged the related authorities to ensure that only those with the necessary expertise and properly licensed are allowed to operate healthcare treatment facilities, to ensure quality and avoid bad reputation for the industry in Sabah.

He regretted some operators who do not have the required knowledge or the minimal expertise, and as a result provided low quality services to their clients.

“This could affect the whole industry and it is unfair to operators who are offering high quality services as they too may feel the impact of the bad image and perception of these unqualified operators among the customers.