Explore aggressively rural tourism products, Hajiji tells Sabah tourism associations

KENINGAU: Tourism associations in the state need to be more aggressive in exploring more tourism products in their respective areas, said the Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor.


He said this is in line with the state government’s commitment to develop community-based tourism due to its great potential to drive economic growth, especially in the rural areas of Sabah.

According to him, the activity of promoting the tourism industry is a state agenda that requires solid support from all relevant parties, including tourism operators, agencies from the government, and the private sector.

“Therefore, I want the tourism industry to continue to receive support from all parties involved as well as the people as a whole,” he said when officiating The Crocker Range Festival 2023 and declaring the rebranding of Keningau Town Field to Dataran Keningau here on Saturday.

The text of Hajiji’s speech was read by the Assistant Works Minister, Datuk Robert Tawik@Nordin.

Also present were the Assistant Minister of Community Development and People’s Welfare Datuk Flovia Ng, and Keningau District Officer, Mr. Peter Jonu Moinjil.

Hajiji said the state government is also committed to supporting programmes that are able to promote tourism destinations, including products produced in a district in the state.

According to him, the Crocker Range Festival 2023, which lasted for four days since last Thursday, is among the efforts of various parties, including the Keningau District Office and the Keningau Tourism and Culture Association, to promote the tourism industry in this district.

He said, The Crocker Range Festival 2023 is always looked forward to by local residents as well as tourists from within and outside the country, and can also help open up wider opportunities for entrepreneurs to sell and promote their products.

“Indirectly, this activity becomes a double-edged sword, which is to become a tourist attraction and at the same time help increase the income of entrepreneurs, especially small and medium-sized industrial entrepreneurs (SMEs).

“It is my great hope that the organization of this festival can be fully utilized in an effort to improve the tourism industry in the Keningau district.

“In addition to having various natural tourism attractions such as beautiful hills, waterfalls, and caves, Keningau is also rich in tourism products characterised by art, culture, history, and heritage treasures that can be offered to tourists from within and outside the country,” he added.

According to him, the festival is the best platform for SMI entrepreneurs to promote and directly market their products, thus helping to improve their economy after being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hajiji said, The Crocker Range Festival 2023, with various useful fillings, is one of the attractions for outside visitors to come.

“Initiatives like this can be emulated by other districts to add more tourist attractions in their respective areas. This is because Sabah is a state that has many attractions, whether in the sea, land, mountains, or hills, in addition to flora and fauna.

“Apart from the Keningau district itself, which has many tourist areas including cultural treasures and crafts, other districts in Sabah have their own attractions,” he stressed.

More than 100 small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) participated in this festival to promote and market their products.

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