KOTA KINABALU: Architectural tourism should be considered as a new form of tourism product for Sabah, says Datuk Joniston Bangkuai.
The State Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister said this new product could potentially boost the vibrancy of the state and tourism in general.
He said 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,” Joniston said after visiting Terengganu recently.
During the familiarisation trip from Sept 18 to 21, Joniston led a group of Sabah Tourism Board (STB) directors and management staff to visit the Terengganu State Museum, among others.
There, he saw that its 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.
Joniston also felt that it is time for the STB to oversee the development of tourism in the state, rather than just doing promotional work.
He said the Terengganu trip provided STB with the opportunity to see how other states were thriving in the tourism business.
Meanwhile, the Terengganu Tourism Department praised STB for its creative approach to fostering local community and tourism development in the state.
“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,” said department director Fadli Yusof Zakaria.
Apart from the state museum, the STB team also visited Pulau Redang, Islamic Civilisation Park and Terengganu Cultural Village.