KOTA KINABALU, 28 September 2022: Sabah needs to consider developing architectural tourism to create new product offerings that will boost the state’s vibrancy and tourism in general.

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

Joniston listening to a briefing by Terengganu State Museum deputy director Fauzi Muda (2nd left) on the museum history and its architectural design. Also pictured are State Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry Permanent Secretary Datuk Sr. Mohd Yusrie Abdullah (left) and STB chief executive officer Noredah Othman (2nd right).

“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 familiarisation trip to get product updates.

During the trip, the group visited the Terengganu State Museum, which its structures were designed to evoke the style of local traditional homes.

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 on how 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.

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

This was expressed by Terengganu Tourism Department director Fadli Yusof Zakaria to the Board delegation during a dinner hosted by them.

“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,

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 Civilisation 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.

For more information, visit www.sabahtourism.com.

(Your Stories: Sabah Tourism Board)

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