Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Joniston Bangkuai emphasized the importance of responsible tourism in riverfront areas.
He called on stakeholders to prioritize safety, quality, and continuous skills development.
During the launch of the Pertubuhan Arus Deras Sabah or ARUSDESA and Pulou Kelapa Heritage Tourism and Recreation Centre, Joniston stressed the need for visitor well-being in water rafting activities, urging private and community-based tourism operators to establish a strong reputation for safety.
ARUSDESA, a newly registered organization, focuses on providing comprehensive training in water rafting sports and safety, aiming to make it a controlled activity with internationally recognized certification.
He encouraged ARUSDESA to collaborate with local communities, equipping villagers with expertise to become river guides and empowering them while enhancing rural riverside tourism.
He highlighted the importance of collaboration between private tourism operators and village communities, fostering sustainable tourism growth and positive community development for mutual benefit.