KOTA KINABALU: Tourism products in Ranau, the home of Sabah’s iconic Mount Kinabalu, will be diversified to draw more domestic and international tourists, says Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew.
Liew, who is also state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, said the bio-diversity-rich Kinabalu Park, a Unesco World Heritage site, is the major tourism draw in the district and there was now room to further diversify tourism products there.
“Ranau has all the essential ingredients for a major tourist destination, ” she said when meeting the Ranau Chinese Chamber Commerce, headed by Datuk Jimmy Tham Yuk Leong.
Liew said that other key attractions were the Poring Hot Spring and the Kundasang War Memorial as well as Sabah tea plantation, Sabah orchid nursery, strawberry farms, organic vegetable farms, highland resorts and homestay facilities.
"I believe there is still ample space to diversify the industry by creating new tourism products in Ranau while nurturing its heritage," she added.
Liew was addressing the concerns of the business community over the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on tourism.
Earlier, Tham had urged the state to develop adventure and agro-tourism packages in Ranau, which locals say also has the best durian.
Liew said the ministry plans to work on giving the Poring Hot Spring a much-needed facelift by the end of the year as part efforts to improve the infrastructure of tourism products.
Later, in Kota Kinabalu, while visiting the Api Api night food market on Saturday (July 5), Liew said that some 2,000 people have scaled Mount Kinabalu after it re-opened on May 16.
She said the state was hoping to selectively re-open its doors to international tourists particularly those from “green zone” (Covid-19 free) countries by Sept 1.
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