Architectural tourism has potential to attract visitors to Sabah, says Bangkuai


General view of Terengganu State Museum.

KOTA KINABALU: Tourism industry players in the state should consider architectural tourism as a new product for Sabah which is rich in cultural elements, says Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Joniston Bangkuai.

He said architectural tourism has the potential to boost the vibrancy of the state and tourism in general.

“Sabah's cultural elements are diverse and should play a part in the design of architecture.

“We have rich elements with over 40 ethnic groups. We should highlight and feature these elements in our exterior and interior architecture to further complement Sabah as an eco-cultural tourism destination,” he said following a visit to Terengganu recently.

Joniston listening to a briefing by Terengganu State Museum deputy director Fauzi Muda (2nd left) on the museum history and its architectural design. Also pictured are State Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry Permanent Secretary Datuk Sr. Mohd Yusrie Abdullah (left) and STB chief executive officer Noredah Othman (2nd right).Joniston listening to a briefing by Terengganu State Museum deputy director Fauzi Muda (2nd left) on the museum history and its architectural design. Also pictured are State Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry Permanent Secretary Datuk Sr. Mohd Yusrie Abdullah (left) and STB chief executive officer Noredah Othman (2nd right).

Bangkuai led a delegation of Sabah Tourism Board’s (STB) directors and management staff in the three-day trip which ended on Wednesday (Sept 21) where they visited the Terengganu State Museum among other places.

He said there he saw that structures were designed to evoke the style of local traditional homes.

“Sabah should take inspiration from Terengganu, which has a strong presence in architectural tourism,” he said.

Bangkuai added that the visit provided STB with the opportunity to see how other states were thriving in the tourism business.

“It has provided us with ideas on how to accomplish the same in Sabah.

“We also held meetings on ways to promote Sabah and increase the arrival of tourists,” he said.

Meanwhile, Terengganu Tourism Department director Fadli Yusof Zakaria hoped both states could exchange ideas more frequently to further promote the industry.

“It's always great to get ideas from Sabah on how to market products in effective ways.

“We see that STB is very creative when it comes to promoting tourism, particularly in its efforts to involve and uplift the rural community through this industry,” he said.

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