The Borneo Post (Sabah)
STB, KCCI to collaborate in tourism
Sabah Tourism Board (STB) is looking into collaborating with Kadazandusun Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) to provide rural folks with proper tourism soft skills training.
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Tourism Board (STB) is looking into collaborating with Kadazandusun Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) to provide rural folks with proper tourism soft skills training.
STB chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said the Kadazandusun and Sabahan community needed upskilling to enhance their knowledge competency so they would have better communication skills when explaining their product and cultural values to tourists.
“We are really going strong on rural tourism because of its huge potential. In Kiulu itself, the revenue for its rural tourism is RM5.2 million with more than 40 operators based on a 2019 report.
“We can work together with KCCI on initiatives to empower our Kadazandusun community in the tourism area and KCCI can be a platform to conduct training for targetted areas towards the preservation of culture as well as environment,” he said.
Bangkuai, who is also Assistant Tourism, Culture, and Environment Minister, said this during a courtesy call by the KCCI delegation at the STB office here, yesterday.
Among the potential collaborations is working together to conduct a pilot project to train the local community to understand product values so they would not be taken advantage by tourists and visitors alike.
STB had in 2019 collaborated with Universiti Malaysia Sabah on pilot projects to teach the Kadamaian and Kiulu community basic Chinese and English language.
Last year, a similar project was to be carried out with the Marais and Rundum community in Tenom but was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Earlier, KCCI president Datuk Bonipasius Bianis highlighted on the need to provide basic training for Kadanzandusun folks who have potential to become tourist guides at their respective area.
“I have received feedback especially at Kampung Kiau in Ranau, the people are doing guiding for bird watchers. However, what is lacking is their knowledge and communication skills.
“There’s a need to give them basic foreign language, especially English, and knowledge on bird species. This is so they will have value as a guide instead of just guiding because they are familiar with the area,” he said.
KCCI noted a similar situation was also happening among local traditional weavers, who lack skills in explaining the value of their product and hence they often settle for a much lower price when negotiating with tourists.
Bianis said KCCI looked forward to working with STB on assisting the Kadazandusun community to get back on their feet, noting some of its 800 members involved in tourism are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Present at the courtesy call were STB deputy general manager, in charge of finance, corporate and products division, Julinus Jimit; KCCI deputy president Datuk Ladislaus Maluda; KCCI secretary-general Pius Jaua; and KCCI vice presidents Edmond Lo, Anne Antah, as well as Dennison R. Indang.