KOTA MARUDU: Walai Tobilung Cultural Stay can be a model for other areas venturing into cultural and eco tourism.
In Sabah’s context, Sabah Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment minister Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said among the key attractions at Walai Tobilung are traditinal dance and music performances, Tobilung mock wedding and exhibition of traditional artifacts.
Walai Tobilung is also involve in eco-tourism by organising jungle and hill trekking.
Joniston was briefed by founder of Walai Tobilung, Janes Kinsarong that before the Movement Control Order (MCO), they used to have up to 100 visitors daily.
With the tagline “Experiencing Culture, Nature and Heritage”, Walai Tobilung is also one of Cultural Sites of Kinabalu Geopark under UNESCO. It is about two hours drive from Kota Kinabalu.
“Our cultural heritage is one of the uniqueness of our state. It is an attraction for many foreign visitors because we have so many ethnics and sub-ethics but able to live in peace and harmony,” said Joniston, who is also Sabah Tourism Board chairman.
He also said the State government’s committment to develop rural tourism is reflected in the setting up of a joint-committee between Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry and the Rural Development Ministry to effectively addressed issues affecting the tourism sector.
In the bid to better promote agro tourism, he also suggested that the Agriculture Ministry be included in the joint-committee.
After Walai Tobilung, Bangkuai also visited the Marudu Bay Ecotourism Community project that involved nine villages as well as the historical Syarif Osman Monument.
He noted these products have great potential through proper packaging, which he said STB can play a role.
“On our part in Sabah Tourism we can assist to our level best but in the end it is up to the community itself to make the endeavour a success,” he said.
Later in the afternoon, Bangkuai was also on hand at the opening of the Rajawali Homes officiated by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili.
The opening of Rajawali Homes is proof of the confidence of its owner that the hospitality industry will bounce back post Covid-19 pandemic.