KOTA KINABALU: Rural tourism in Sabah is fast gaining popularity as evident in the tremendous response to the Kiulu Adventure Challenge (KAC) and Kiulu Mini Carnival (KMC) over the weekend.
Aimed at promoting Kiulu as a premier adventure and eco tourist destination, the KAC and KMC have succeeded in enhancing awareness among the rural folks on how tourism could become a viable source of income.
More than 1,000 people, including foreign visitiors, thronged the River Bug Adventure Base at Rangalau Lama, Kiulu, for the KAC and the fun-filled KMC.
The KAC involved cycling and running through mountains and valleys with scenic views, as well as rafting along the Kiulu River, while the KMC featured a “Badih Gulu-Gulu” (traditional open market), traditional food and drinks fiesta and traditional sports.
Organised by the Kiulu Tourism Association (KTA) and supported by Tourism Malaysia and Sabah Tourism Board, the KAC which was divided into various categories, attracted more than 500 participants.
The Kiulu Mini Carnival, which was organised by the Kiulu Socio-Economy and Cultural Association (Pesbuk), provided opportunity to visitors to sample authentic Kiulu traditional delicacies prepared by the local community.
The Badih Gulu-Gulu, which saw pesticide-free agricultural produce and local handicrafts such as hat and vest made from tree barks being sold, was a hit among visitors prompting Kiulu Assemblyman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai to suggest for it to be held on a weekly or monthly basis.
Joniston, who is Sabah Tourism Board chairman, was particularly happy to note the participation of the local community in the KMC as an avenue for them to showcase and market their hand-made crafts, traditional foods and drinks.
“It was like back to nature as the traditional foods were cooked without any ingredients except for salt,” said Jason Prickely from Australia, who was at the event with several friends.
Labels: Kiulu, Sabah Tourism, Sports Tourism