Sabah an ideal 'healing trip' destination, says state tourism board

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is an ideal place for “healing trips”, camping and outdoor activities, says the Sabah Tourism Board (STB).

STB chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said these were some of the main attractions promoted for Sabah during the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) fair in Kuala Lumpur.

He highlighted the global trend of "healing trips," with travellers increasingly seeking holistic adventure experiences alongside relaxation and fun during the event.

Sabah had embraced this trend by branding itself at the MATTA Fair as a "healing destination" with a focus on camping, he said during the event at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (Mitec).

"Sabah has a lot of avenues for camping destinations," said Bangkuai, adding that STB showcased various camping attractions and adventure spots across the state during this fair.

The Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister listed out places like Kadamaian, Kundasang, Kokol Hill, beaches in Kudat, and rural areas like the Rundum Highlands in Tenom as the destination for these activities.

"Each location has its unique landscapes, views, and cultures, making Sabah a versatile destination that caters to all interests," he said.

"What makes the experience more fulfilling is that the majority of these camping sites are empowered by community-based tourism. This clearly demonstrates the success of this initiative," Bangkuai said.

A total of 22 travel and tour agents from Sabah participated in the 54th edition of MATTA Fair from March 22 - March 24, which was held twice a year.

The Sabah Tourism Board led the Sabah zone with 10 booths, where they offered a travel rebate 'Token Rehat Minda' worth up to RM150 in a single receipt made from a purchased Sabah tour package.

STB also invited Glamping_KK, a Sabah-based camping gear rental provider, to promote their offerings to potential visitors to Sabah.

Local Sabah content creators and adventure enthusiasts, @sesat_in_Malaysia and @rosesabahlady, were also present to share their experience with visitors during the interactive Locco Ajak Borak session at the MATTA Fair.

Bangkuai said visitors to the Sabah Pavilion booths would get to enjoy various organised activities, such as the Photowall Challenge, Catch and Release, and Wheel of Fortune, while running on-site consumer surveys throughout this three day event.

"MATTA Fair is an important and significant domestic consumer travel fair in Malaysia, and we will continue to be actively present," he said.

He said STB would study the trend in travel preferences of the domestic market to keep destinations exciting.

"I remain optimistic that with our attractive destinations from mountain-high to ocean-deep, Sabah appeals to many," added Bangkuai.

Also present at the event was STB Chief Executive Officer, Julinus Jeffery Jimit.

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