Joniston: Sabah must develop architectural tourism

Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said Sabah must consider developing architectural tourism to boost the state’s vibrancy and tourism.

Photo: Joniston Bangkuai FB

Tourism, Culture, and Environment Assistant Minister of and Sabah Tourism Board (STB) chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said Sabah’s cultural elements are diverse and should play a part in architecture design.

“We have rich elements with over 40 ethnic groups. We should highlight and feature these elements in our exterior and interior architecture to further complement Sabah as an eco-cultural tourism destination,” he said after visiting Terengganu early this week.

Last week Joniston led a group of STB board of directors and management staff to Kuala Terengganu for a four-day familiarization trip to get product updates.

During the trip, the delegation visited the Terengganu State Museum, which is structured to evoke the style of traditional local homes.

Datuk Joniston Bangkuai
Photo: Joniston Bangkuai FB

Joniston said Sabah should take inspiration from Terengganu, which has a strong presence in architectural tourism.

He also opined that it is time for the Sabah Tourism Board to oversee tourism development in the state rather than just promotion.

The Sabah Tourism Board’s visit to Terengganu is a reciprocal of the Terengganu Tourism Department’s February visit to Sabah earlier this year.

Joniston remarked that the Terengganu trip allowed STB to see how other states are thriving in the tourism business and provide them with ideas to accomplish the same.

In addition, the board of directors also held a meeting in Kuala Terengganu to discuss how to promote Sabah and increase the arrival of tourists.

Datuk Joniston Bangkuai
Photo: Joniston Bangkuai FB

Meanwhile, Terengganu praised STB for its creative approach to fostering the state’s local community and tourism development.

Terengganu Tourism Department director Fadli Yusof Zakaria expressed his point to the delegation during a dinner they hosted.

“It’s always great to get ideas from Sabah on effectively marketing products. STB is very creative in promoting tourism, particularly in its efforts to involve and uplift the rural community through this industry.

“I hope that Terengganu and Sabah would work together to exchange ideas and to contribute to the overall promotion of tourism throughout the nation,” he said.

Datuk Joniston Bangkuai
Photo: Joniston Bangkuai FB

He also reiterated that Terengganu was inspired to implement its community-based tourism (CoBT) after seeing how successfully Sabah’s rural CoBT concept had developed during their visit to Sabah, during which they explored Kiulu.

Apart from the Terengganu State Museum, the STB team also visited Pulau Redang, Islamic Civilization Park, Terengganu Cultural Village, Pasar Payang, Chinatown, and Noor Arfa Batik.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry Permanent Secretary Datuk Sr. Mohd Yusrie Abdullah and STB chief executive officer Noredah Othman were present.

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Source: TTR Weekly

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