KOTA KINABALU: A comprehensive strategy is needed for Sabah's east coast agricultural Tawau district to be turned into a "must see" tourism destination.
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said that a well thought-out strategy is required to promote Tawau, which has significant tourism potential although most tourists fly to Tawau to visit diving havens in Semporna.
“I must say that whenever we attend (tourism) road shows, there always seems to be a great deal of interest in Semporna, while Tawau is overlooked.
“Hence, Tawau needs to expand its attractions, and we need to design a strategic plan to encourage tourists to stay and discover all that Tawau has to offer," Bangkuai said after visiting the Batu Bersusun attraction and Tagal Kampung Balung Cocos in Tawau Friday (Feb 24).
Bangkuai was on an official work visit for tourism products update and also to inspect facilities improvement funded by the Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry (KePKAS) under its Rural Tourism Development Programme.
He was also briefed on Tawau’s potential to develop its community-based tourism (CoBT) based on a study conducted by Tawau Polytechnic.
Tawau Polytechnic director Dr Nor Haniza Mohamad said that they identified Kampung Tinagat, Kampung Batu Payung, and Kampung Membalua as potential villages for CoBT. The villagers were keen to boost their income source.