MOTAC considers devolving tourism licensing to Sabah

KOTA KINABALU: The Federal Government is receptive to devolving the tourism licensing power to Sabah, says the State Tourism, Culture and Environment ministry.

Its minister Datuk Christina Liew said the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac) was open to the idea, and its minister, Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, had informed her that it was possible to allow Sabah to issue the licences as the state has its own Sabah Tourism Board (STB).

She said Motac and STB could work together on matters related to tourism.

Liew had raised the issue of Motac licences with Tiong during a meeting in Putrajaya earlier this week, while highlighting the grouses aired by the Sabah Tourism Federation and the Sabah Chapter of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) on tourism matters, which included the long wait for the renewal of the tourist guide’s licence.

On the issue of unlicensed Airbnb operators, Liew said Tiong had advised all state tourism departments to formulate regulations governing the operations of such accommodations and present them to him for consideration.

Liew also urged Motac to support the setting up of a new Sabah Cultural Centre that would showcase the traditions and heritage of all ethnic groups on the Land Below the Wind, adding it could be one of the new products for Visit Malaysia Year 2025.

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