KOTA KINABALU: The conservation rate (or entry fees) for all the parks under Sabah Parks will increase starting from January 1 next year.
Sabah Parks director Dr Jamli Nais disclosed that the rate would increase from RM3 to RM5 for locals and from RM10 to RM20 for foreigners.
He explained that the Board of Trustees of Sabah Parks had agreed to increase the conservation rate due to the issue of overcrowding.
Last year alone, there were a total of 475, 807 tourists who had visited the Taman Tunku Abdul Rahman marine parks.
Furthermore, the first half of 2017 (up till June) had already recorded a total of 285,545 visitors, Jamli said at the 43rd anniversary of the proclamation of Taman Tunku Abdul Rahman.
“This issue of overcrowding is one of the main challenges that Sabah Parks has to face now.
“Last time, the challenge was for us to bring in more visitors. This time around, our challenge is to handle the high number of visitors,” he stressed.
Jamli reiterated that the fee hike was implemented in accordance to the current international rate.
“We have studied the prices put up by other countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand as well as other states within Malaysia.
“The proposed fees may not be considered as cheap but it is still definitely cheaper compared to the other prices put up by other countries,” Jamli added.
Once bought, a ticket will be valid for the entire day and it can be used to access all the parks under Sabah Parks.
The ticket prices had not been reviewed since 2002, which meant that the prices had not been increased for the last 16 years, Jamli said.
He went on to reassure the public that the price hike would not affect the arrival of tourists to the state.
Jamli also said that the profit gained from the ticket sales would be used to fund the conservation works for Sabah Parks.