Kadamaian is experiencing slow but steady tourism growth as the community continues to push through the pandemic to achieve a world-class rural tourism destination by 2025.
Since the travel ban was lifted, locals started to revisit recreational spots operated either privately or by the community, which saw rural tourism in Kadamaian being revived though at a slow pace.
Despite being affected by the ongoing pandemic, Kadamaian Tourism Association (KATA) president Walter Duis Kandayon said it did not dampen the community’s spirit to continue working together to improve tourism in this area.
“Based on my assessment, Kadamaian is now at 50 percent towards achieving the 2025 vision in terms of community-based tourism (CBT) knowledge, hospitality management, organizing skill, and infrastructure facility.
“The state government and Sabah Tourism Board (STB) have continued to provide moral support and materials to rural tourism operators here, especially during tough times.
“Moreover, the Sabah New Deal has given a boost of motivation that saw Kadamaian tourism operators making full use of the grant to improve the existing facility and build a public toilet, huts, or mini hall,” he said.
On Saturday, Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister cum STB chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai visited Kampung Tambulian Ulu to inspect the progress of upgrading works at Tomodo Paradise recreation center.
Bangkuai was accompanied by STB deputy general manager, in charge of finance and rural products division, Julianus Jimit.
Tomodo Paradise is among several private or family-owned tourism sites operated along the pristine slow-moving Waliu River. It has existing nine bamboo huts, a public toilet, a mini hall, and safety jackets.
There are also five CBT recreation spots along the river namely Terintidon, 3V Nahaba, Tegudon Tourism Village, Kalangadanku, and Telungan.
Tomodo Paradise manager Viannie Maihthy Juin said they started operating in May 2018 and recorded over RM30,000 tourism revenue in the first eight months of the year.
Apart from domestic visitors, the center also received international tourists from China, United States, and Europe.
“For now, like other tourism operators in Kadamaian, we have to depend on local visitors. They have contributed to tourism growth during this pandemic and many are eager to visit the riverside tourism spots in Kampung Tambulian for some family activity,” she said.
She added Tomodo Paradise had applied for a special grant under Sabah New Deal and they are currently constructing a chalet with two adjoining units to accommodate future visitors wanting to spend the night.
They also improved their facility by putting in place staircases leading to the river.
Meanwhile, Bangkuai said STB is always committed to empowering rural tourism operators as well as community-based tourism by providing the necessary assistance.
“STB is ever ready to facilitate the rural community on how best to improve and promote their potential tourism products. Having said this, the villagers must also take own initiatives to boost tourism and economy in the respective area,” he said.
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