Rural tourism players in Sabah to showcase all on offer during fair

KOTA KINABALU: Authentic countryside experiences will be promoted by rural tourism players to registered agents tomorrow (Nov 16) ahead of the three-day community based tourism fair.

The Federation of Rural Tourism Association Sabah (FeRTAS) said they are geared up to market its rural tourism offerings with the aim of attracting more visitors seeking an authentic countryside experience.

This business-to-business session serves as a prelude to the fifth edition of the Sabah Community Based Tourism Fair 2023, scheduled from Nov 17-19 at Suria Sabah Shopping Mall here.

Twelve operators under FeRTAS will engage in the Business to Business session with key industry players from the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta), Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Satta), and Sabah Tourist Association (STA).

The rural tourism operators include Nabalu Tourism Association, Kadamaian, Kota Marudu, Lahad Datu, Kiulu, Keningau, Tambunan, Tenom, Penampang, Kuala Penyu, Ranau and Kota Belud.

These business sessions aim to familiarise agents with rural community tourism offerings and provide guidance to operators on effective marketing strategies.

The event is co-organised by the Sabah Tourism Board and FeRTAS, while Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor is scheduled to launch the Sabah Community Based Tourism Fair on Nov 17.

Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said this year’s fair will see 40 booths with participation from various tourism associations and ministries, among others.

“For the first time, Labuan and Brunei will also be onboard. This is an important improvement and it signifies the growing momentum in our endeavours to promote rural community tourism.

“The participation of neighboring countries contributes to the sustainable development of rural tourism by establishing connections beyond borders,” he said after chairing the final committee meeting.

The three-day event will host various activities, including informative talks by FeRTAS, Sabah Homestay Association, Sabah Handicraft Center, Malaysian Handicraft Development Corporation, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Industry, and Sabah Parks.

Visitors can participate in quizzes after each talk, with the opportunity to win prizes through a lucky draw.

The fair will also feature cultural dance performances, traditional games, traditional musical instrument displays, and traditional cooking demonstrations.

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