KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has over 20,000 houses on stilts, and this can be transform into tourism product by using the community-based tourism concept (CoBT).
Sabah Assistant Tourism, Culture, and Environment Minister Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said CoBT implemented in the rural areas since 2014, has produced many successful operators.
Thus, if this approach is adopted by the water villagers, they will too enjoy the same benefit, he suggested to Meraki Daat Sabah Initiative, a non-governmental organisation.
Meraki Daat is planning to carry out its Project Picasso in 2023 to transform some of the water villages into Instagram-worthy tourist attractions, said its president Michelle De La Harpe during a courtesy on Joniston recently.
CoBT emphasized on cleanliness and teamwork among the community to create sustainable income and at the same time, look after the environment.
This is an ideal concept for water villages as some were an eyesore to public due to rubbish being dumped indiscriminately into the waters.
Under the Project Picasso, they will repair and repaint the water village houses with murals based on artwork submitted from people all over the world.
The village will feature new enterprises such as cafes, sales of handicrafts and perhaps homestays.
Meraki Daat hopes to transform the water villages into a popular destination for tourists.-HS