KOTA KINABALU/ Sept 12: Sri Pelancongan Sabah, a subsidiary of Sabah Tourism Board had inked a service agreement with Tourplus for the development of a smartphone application known as Hello Sabah.
It will serve as a digital platform for the state tourism industry.
The agreement was signed between Sri Pelancongan Sabah general manager Zachary Mobijohn and TourPlus Technology founder/chief executive officer Rickson Goh at the Le Meridien Kota Kinabalu here.
Through the partnership, the Hello Sabah application will function to digitise the state tourism business, allowing local product owners and industry players from the public as well as private sectors to market their goods and services.
It features an online booking platform for rural tourism and community-based tourism, among others.
Witnessing the signing ceremony, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said the Sabah Tourism Board would monitor the progress and success of the mobile application in achieving its purpose, including the promotion of rural tourism.
“As the chairman of Sabah Tourism Board, I am extremely happy to see rural tourism operators included in this Hello Sabah application initiative.
“The rural tourism sector has been through a lot of ups and downs since 2014 to get to where it is today, with some community-based tourism operators earning Asean and global standard recognition.
“We aspire to make our rural areas into world-class rural tourism destinations by 2030, and to do so, we need to be able to provide a digital platform to present our rich culture, traditions, food, handicraft, and local community way of life to the world,” he said.
Joniston opined it was necessary to work with the Federation of Rural Tourism Association Sabah (FeRTAS) to get their input or strategy for the Hello Sabah application to effectively aid rural operators in marketing and promoting their products or destinations,
While it is important to promote creativity and get rural businesses on board the digital train, he stressed it is also essential to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the effectiveness of the app and collect feedback from all stakeholders involved.
“This way we will have a better grasp of how a social media app fits into a business and will be able to identify what is successful and what is not,” said Joniston.
Meanwhile, Zachary stated that Sri Pelancongan Sabah plays a role as a strategic partner in the development of the “Hello Sabah” mobile application that is set to promote Sabah’s tourism industry by utilising Tourplus’ advanced technology.
He added the Hello Sabah app aims to have up to 100,000 merchants on the mobile application as its ultimate target.
“Merchants who are interested to be featured on this platform must pay a listing fee of RM300.
However, in order to entice more merchants to take advantage of this platform, we will be waiving this listing fee to all merchants who sign up in 2022.
On top of that, we will only be charging a minimum payment gateway fee of 2.12% for the first 100 transactions. Normal commission rates will apply thereafter,” added Zachary.
Speaking on the collaboration, Rickson was optimistic that it will aid the travel sector’s transition to digitalization 4.0 and enable local industry players to better prepare in meeting the demands placed o zar n them by the state’s tourism industry.
Present at the event were Sabah Tourism Board chief executive officer Noredah Othman; deputy chief executive officer Julinus Jimit; and TourPlus chairman Datuk Rashidi Hasbullah.
Sri Pelancongan Sabah
Sri Pelancongan Sabah Sdn Bhd (SPS) is a wholly-owned subsidiary company of Sabah Tourism Board. It compliments the efforts of Sabah Tourism by capitalising on event management, publicity, and supply and sales of local handicrafts.
About the app
Uncover Sabah’s tourism gems with ease by downloading the “Hello Sabah” mobile application on https://hellosabah.com/ or keep up with the latest lifestyle trends on its social media platforms @hellosabah