KOTA KINABALU: Sabah will stick to the Jan 1 increased fees for Mount Kinabalu climbers but will allow those who made bookings last year to pay the old rates.
The State Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry has come up with a formula to ease the burden caused by the price hike for the Mt Kinabalu Climb permit fee and the entrance fee to Kinabalu Park and Poring Hot Spring which took effect on Jan 1.
Its minister Datuk Christina Liew said on Tuesday (Feb 1) that the ministry approved the formula after a meeting with Sabah Parks director Dr Maklarin Lakim and his management team.
"We are giving a three-month grace period from October to December 2022 prior to implementation of the new fees.
"For paid reservations before Jan 1, 2023, we will still use the old rate. This is because those packages were sold before the announcement of the increase in fees on Oct 26, 2022," she said.
However, Liew said that all packages sold after Jan 1, 2023 would be based on the new rate.
The formula was worked out after both the public and Malaysian Association of tour and travel agents (Matta), Sabah/Labuan Chapter urged the ministry to reconsider the new rates in view of prior bookings.
Liew said that she hoped that the new formula would assist our local tour and travel agents as well as their clients.
With effect from Jan 1, Sabah Parks doubled its rates with the price of the climbing permit for foreign adults increased from RM200 to RM400, while Malaysians will now be charged RM100, up from RM50 before.
Meanwhile, foreign children under 12 years of age will be charged RM200, up from RM80, while Malaysian children will be charged RM50, up from the previous rate of RM30.
The cost for mountain guides has also been increased from RM230 to RM350.
The entrance fee into Kinabalu Park and Poring Hot Springs was increased from RM3 per adult for locals to RM10, while adults for international visitors will be charged RM50 from RM10.
When announcing the new rates from Jan 1, Sabah Parks said that it was due to the higher maintenance cost of facilities.
The last increase was in 2015 following the earthquake on Mount Kinabalu.