Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Kiulu could be next adventure tourism destination

KIULU: “If adventure is your passion then Kiulu is definitely your destination” is the new tagline to promote tourism in this picturesque hinterland just an hour’s drive from Kota Kinabalu.

Coined by Kiulu Assemblyman, Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture is now mulling with the idea to adopt it for promoting adventure tourism.

The ministry’s secretary-general, Tan Sri Dr Ong Hong Peng visited the area last weekend and was so impressed with the concept that he delayed his return flight to Kuala Lumpur.

“He was supposed to fly back to Kuala Lumpur at 2.30pm but he changed his mind after learning you all were here and this is something we will always appreciate,” said Joniston when addressing participants of the Earth Hour & Kiulu Adventure Voluntourism Programme.

The event was organised by the Sabah Backpackers Operators Association (SBA) and Almacrest Students Backpackers Club (ASBC).

“Kiulu is basically a rural area and we are promoting this place as a model for rural tourism to create a viable alternative source of income for rural folks who rely on agriculture to make a living,” said Joniston, a native of Kiulu.

“We have such a beautiful place and unspoilt environment so we should capitalise on this to get visitors to come and stay here and in this way, we help to improve the economy of the rural folks,” he added.

Joniston who is also the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) chairman believed that Dr Ong’s presence would go a long way towards promoting Kiulu as an adventure destination.