State Deputy Chief Minister and Infrastructure Development Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, Sabah Parks director Dr Jamili Nais, and other delegates on a tour of the Mahua Waterfall area. Pix by BRANDON JOHN.
TAMBUNAN: Various programmes are currently underway to promote Tambunan as a major eco-tourism and recreational centre.
The district, located 80 kilometres east of Kota Kinabalu, is home to many attractions, including the Crocker Range National Park, which the Sabah government hopes to capitalise on.
"In 2014, the Crocker Range Biosphere Reserve (CRBR), which includes the park, was recognised as a Man and Biosphere Reserve (MAB) by the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).
"This gave us a platform to elevate Tambunan to an internationally-acclaimed eco-tourism and recreational centre, and we are planning to promote its attractions more aggressively.
"In fact, 2017 has already been announced by the district council as 'Visit Tambunan Year'," enthused State Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
Pairin, who is also Infrastructure Development Minister, visited the district yesterday to officiate the third anniversary of the Crocker Range as MAB.
He said that aside from already-established attractions such as the Mahua Waterfall and the Mount Alab Substation, new sites, such as the 12-kilometre Minduk-Siring Hiking Trail, have been developed, inspired by the rising trend in hiking and jungle trekking among tourists.
"A new tour package will offer visitors the challenging hiking and jungle trekking (adventure), in addition to the cool weather and scenic imagery of Mount Alab and the Mahua Waterfall, (not to mention) accommodations and meals.
"With the official launch of the hiking trail, and by stepping up efforts to further promote this package, the amount of visitors will increase, which will subsequently benefit the local community here," Pairin added.
As a biosphere reserve, the CRBR will serve as a centre for international conservation efforts, as well as biodiversity research, training, and recreation.
Yesterday’s event also saw the signing of a memorandum between Sabah Parks and the Tambunan district council to promote the district's tourist sites.