Improve quality of rural tourism infrastructure to achieve DPN’s objectives – association
KOTA KINABALU,. The Federation of Rural Tourism Association of Sabah believed that the mission and objectives underlined in the newly-launched National Tourism Polity (DPN) 2020-2030 will be fully achieved by, among others, improving the quality of tourism infrastructure and internet network and facilities in the rural areas.
Its president, Walter Kandayon, said efforts to upgrade the infrastructure, such as paved roads and internet network, were also believed to be able to contribute to improving the quality of tourism services that will lead to efforts to enrich the experience and satisfaction of tourists.
He said the gems of Sabah tourism were mostly hidden in rural areas, such as in Ranau, Kudat, Kota Belud and the islands, but the lack of road infrastructure made it difficult for tourists to get there.
“The state tourism products in the city or major towns made up just about 30 per cent as most of it are in rural areas but unreachable due to the lack or poor condition of road infrastructure and internet services,” he told Bernama here today.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, when launching the DPN this morning said the policy was aimed at ensuring continuity of the country’s tourism industry as well as bring back Malaysia as the preferred tourism destination at the global level.
He said this would be achieved by strengthening competitiveness, encouraging sustainable and inclusive tourism sector development as well as planning for future disasters.
The policy would be implemented through six main strategic thrusts – transformation of governance, creation of Special Tourism Investment Zones, intensifying digitalisation of tourism sector, enriching tourists experience and satisfaction, strengthening commitment to sustainable tourism and increasing human capital capacity in all tourism sub-sectors.
Walter said the federation viewed positively and fully supported the government’s effort to launch the DPN 2020-2030, especially as the sector, especially in Sabah, had been severely affected by the COVID-19.
He said efforts to create more two- or three-star hotels or accommodation in rural areas were also necessary to encourage more tourists to stay longer.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Datuk Tan Kok Liang said the launch of DPN 2020-2030 is a good initiative and good start for next year to further strengthen the development of the tourism sector.
He said the association look forward to critical structural changes for both in the government and private sector to facilitate tourism recovery and bringing up Malaysia as a preferred international destination to the world.
“We welcome the National Tourism Policy for the next 10 years and the government’s commitment to empowering the industry.
“However, given the current uncertainty of the global economic landscape, we suggest that the policy can be segmentalised into various phases according to the dynamic business environment. The immediate first three years would be resetting tourism as the whole tourism ecosystem is in the brink of collapse,” he said.
Tan said reimagine tourism destination strategies; digitalisation; infrastructure development; upskilling; rebranding and repackaging should be emphasised consistently with the new travelling trends and patterns.
“The policy needs to provide an opportunity for stakeholders to realign and reinvention towards a better and sustainable tourism for the future,” he added.