Sunday, May 22

Kota Belud can be world class eco-tourism destination


Salleh beats the gong to symbolise the start of the event.

KOTA BELUD (May 14): Kota Belud, known as the ‘cowboy of the East’ , has the potential to be developed as a world-class rural eco-tourism destination.

Usukan State Assemblyman Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said his confidence was based on the district’s strategic position which is located at the foot of Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Southeast Asia.

“The Kota Belud district is no stranger to the people of Malaysia. There are many popular attractions in this district. These include ecotourism destinations, beaches, picnic spots and spectacular scenery of Mount Kinabalu,” he said.

Salleh said this while officiating the Kota Belud district-level Kaamatan Festival themed “Kaamatan Inspires Nature” at the Tun Said Keruak Community Hall, here on Saturday.

In line with this year’s Kaamatan theme, Salleh, who is also the former Sabah Chief Minister, called on the people, especially tour operators, to unite to aggressively promote tourism packages, including on social media, thus helping to revive the tourism-based economy in the district.

In this regard, he said the Kaamatan Festival was able to help promote tourism in the state through various programs involving culture as well as places of interest.

According to Salleh, the Kaamatan Festival, which is celebrated every year, is able to strengthen the spirit of togetherness and brotherhood among the people in accordance with the concept of “Malaysian Family” which emphasises the unity of various races in the country, thus ensuring the people live in peace and harmony.

“We are also thankful that the Kaamatan Festival celebration this time can be held again physically after two years of being held in hybrid manner following the spread of Covid-19 virus.

“Although the number of global infections and deaths due to Covid-19 is reported to continue to decline, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently warned the pandemic is not over.

“Therefore, I call on the people, especially the residents of Kota Belud, not to regard the relaxation of the SOP as a big license to be free to ignore all the SOPs practised all this while, he said.