KOTA KINABALU, 2 July 2020: The seeping in of chilled fresh air fills the tent you called home for the night. Or you are just stepping out of your homestay to enjoy the view of being in a non-commercial area, embracing the sounds of birds chirping and households starting their morning routine.
To many, rural living may not be too foreign as we all have our own sense of what village living is like. However, maybe the sensory of that past is not as evident as we moved to more commercial spaces which bring about their own distinct sounds and appeals.
Apart from the marine and nature parks, wildlife sanctuaries and forest reserves, tourism attractions can also be found in the rural areas of Sabah.
This is where community-based tourism comes in. Community-based tourism or CBT for short is an initiative to promote sustainability and improve the livelihood of the community in an area, emphasizing on the development and involvement of the community in developing and managing their own tourism destination and products.
Sabah consists of more than thirty different races and ethnicities with the number of languages and dialects going over eighty. All these different groups live together and form a homogenous community, where they are still retaining their own culture, custom, tradition, art, and festivals.
To further boost community-based tourism industry’s growth in the rural areas, tourism action councils have been activated in most districts in the state to assist in the development of tourism-related products for the benefit of the locals and the state economy. CBT is also a great way to empower and encourage the involvement of women and youths in improving the livelihood of their community.
Here in Sabah, scenic and beautiful views of the countryside with cultural experience makes it an ideal getaway for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
Sharing their way of life to travellers, activities that are offered by the communities include paddy planting and harvesting, rubber tapping, river fishing, playing of traditional instruments and games, production of traditional handicrafts, cooking of local dishes and many more.
So why not participate in a community-based tour that gives you the opportunity to immerse in the local culture, delivering you an authentic and rewarding experience while giving back to the community.
Visit www.sabahtourism.com for information on many more rural tourism attractions. (Source: Sabah Tourism Board)