The state government’s special grant has aided 507 tourism projects in Sabah, most of which are in rural areas. The RM10 million grant allocation not only alleviated the burden on local industry players hit hard by the pandemic but has prepared them for tourism revitalization.
According to the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) figure, the special fund was used to improve tourism facilities in 27 districts and most being in the West Coast division with 248 projects. Other divisions that benefitted from the special fund were the Interior involving 92 tourism projects, Sandakan (82), Kudat (45), and the East Coast (40).
The project components involved signage, walkway, open hall, performance stage, public restroom, jetty, visitor information center, hiking trail, gabion, landscape beautification, handicraft workshop, and parking area, among others.
Tourism, Culture, and Environment Minister Datuk Jafry Ariffin said Ministry officials and the STB team went on the ground to make sure the funding was utilized properly and all tourism-related improvement projects that have been approved were carried out.
“The state government, through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Environment, is dedicated to providing better service and hospitality to our guests, especially international tourists who will make Sabah their next destination once border reopens,” he said.
The state tourism board has assisted in distributing grant support for affected tourism players, with each eligible applicant receiving RM20,000. Apart from rural community tourism operators, other applicants included tourist non-governmental organisations, cultural villages, tourism associations, lodging providers, tour operators, and government agencies.