KOTA KINABALU: It will probably be better if one main entity is put in charge of river cruise tourism offering views of fireflies and the Proboscis monkeys among others, in Klias and Weston off Beaufort.
This was because it could help centralise management and the operations while providing standard guidelines and policies that could ensure the sustainability of the activities there.
Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Pang Yuk Ming said there were too many operators doing the same promotions and activities at these places currently.
“There is no clear guideline or policy on how best to go about bringing tourists here,” he said after attending the Elephant Film Festival here on Saturday.
Most tourists went to Klias and Weston, and even Labuk (Sandakan) to sightsee and watch the fireflies and Proboscis monkeys.
However, the guides had different views and rules for the tourists, with some detrimental to the ecosystem there.
As such, Pang said he would like to call upon all the operators and players in these areas to discuss this matter.
“It would be feasible if one entity, say the local communities there, fully manage and take care of the Klias and Weston tourism activities,” he said.
However, he said the matter needed to be discussed and what was clearly lacking was a policy that would benefit the environment, industry players as well as tourists.
Meanwhile, Pang said the Elephant Film Festival was timely as there was now a rise in the number of issues regarding elephants in Sabah.
“Until a year or two ago, we did not face the problem of poachers killing our elephants for their tusks, but now we do,” he said.
Therefore, he said, programmes such as the film festival created awareness among the community on the need to protect these endangered species.
“We need everyone to be our eyes and ears,” he said, urging people to give the authorities proper information on any illegal activities so that action could be taken.