KOTA KINABALU, 17 January 2022: Community-based tourism (CBT) can help prevent rural-urban migration by providing young people in rural villages with a sustainable source of income, according to Sabah Tourism Board (STB) chief executive officer Noredah Othman.

Commenting on developing rural areas that have ample economic opportunities for young people to take advantage in rural areas, she said: “One of STB objectives is to encourage the youth to work in the community and that they do not need to leave their village to look for income.

“Jobs are everywhere, and what matter is effort. The rural areas are rich with natural resources and enchanting surroundings. Hence young people can find jobs and opportunities in CBT,” she noted.

Noredah made the presentation at an event organised by the University Malaysia Sabah’s Centre for Sustainable Society Engagement last Thursday.

Moderated by the centre’s deputy director Dr Elia Godoong, the talks focused on the opportunities of rural communities in the eco-tourism industry.

The engagement also discussed the migration of young people from rural to urban, leaving behind older folks to manage life in the village.

Noredah said the young people should maintain their legacy and continue living in their villages to promote their kampungs, rural destinations, and the state as a whole.

“The rural area is a beautiful tourism destination, and eco-tourism is linked to nature and community. That’s why CBT is important as it encourages the youth to continuously conserve and preserve our natural surroundings as well as appreciate their village,” she said.

She stressed STB is ever ready to assist the rural community that intends to venture into CBT by providing necessary supports, training, and funds.

STB works with the district tourism association to develop CBT, adding 26 districts that have established tourism committees to help sustain tourism activities in their respective area.

Meanwhile, she also said STB is open to collaborating with any varsity for research initiatives, especially on rural tourism.

“We recently provided grants for research teams or individuals who want to conduct research for us. Such collaboration is important to enable us to use their data for our strategic planning,” she added.

Visit STB corporate website: https://tourism.sabah.gov.my/

(Your Stories: Sabah Tourism Board)