Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Borneon tourist package proposed

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah, Sarawak, Kalimantan and Brunei Darussalam should collaborate to reinforce the Borneo brand in promoting their tourism products.

Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun said this on Sunday at the closing ceremony of the Trans Borneo 4wheel Expedition.

“In tourism, we need to work together as a region. Gone are the days where a country may want to market on its own but in this part of the world, I think we need to portray ourselves as Borneo,” said Masidi.

He suggested that Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei could come up with a joint Borneon tourist package to offer travellers with a variety of tourism products.

Such a method is the best and most effective marketing tool to promote tourism in the four Borneon states, said the minister.

Masidi cited the recent partnership between the state government and Royal Brunei Airlines as an example of a successful collaboration.

“Not only were we able to market the two countries effectively but the dividends are far better through such an alliance,” he said.

The minister said that similar cooperation would also expose travellers to the natural wonders found in Borneo, such as the 120 million-year-old rainforest, the world heritage Mount Kinabalu and the world’s tallest tropical tree in Tawau.

“God has given us everything for free. All we need to do is look after it and create facilities to allow access to these kinds of tourism products,” said Masidi.

He also said that Borneo has 668 variety of birds, the largest in a single region. Out of this number, 54 are endemic to Sabah and 14 are endemic to Mount Kinabalu.

Masidi also stated that the turnover for bird watching in the world is about USD2-3 billion. There are 800,000 bird watching societies in Britain and the 10% acquirement of that market is a great potential to the bird watching business in Borneo and the people should capitalize on these kinds of natural gifts, utilizing it fully to generate income, he said.

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