Rural tourism calls for collecting data to enable better planning

Sabah is set to assess the impact of its rural tourism efforts after ten years in the field.

Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai has called for a comprehensive data report from district tourism associations and other key operators to gauge success.

“It’s time for a more structured approach to evaluate our success,” he stated during a Product Rural Tourism Committee (PRTC) meeting at the Sabah Tourism Board office.

The STB has gathered data from the Kiulu, Kadamaian, and Tambunan Tourism Associations, covering the years 2017 to 2022.

Kadamaian experienced a significant increase from 80,000 visitors and RM900,000 in receipts in 2017 to 216,882 visitors and RM2.57 million in 2019.

By 2022, visitor numbers were at 72,871, generating RM2.21 million.

Similarly, Kiulu recorded 53,000 visitors with RM4 million in receipts in 2017.

The numbers fluctuated over the years, reaching 79,935 visitors and RM2.79 million in 2022.

Tambunan reported 83,000 visitors and RM4.15 million in receipts in 2017.

The numbers varied in subsequent years, including a low of 16,279 visitors in 2020. In 2022, visitor numbers increased to 71,550, generating RM2.92 million.

During the PRTC meeting, there was also a discussion about organising the KITA Food Festival in Sabah.

The festival aims to attract chefs to explore local ingredients and promote gastronomy in the region.

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