Kiulu Cobt Operators Vie For Asean Tourism Standard

KOTA KINABALU: Three community-based tourism (CoBT) operators in Kiulu are making headway towards obtaining the ASEAN Tourism Standard accreditation.

They are Lingga Eco-Tourism, Murug Turug Eco-Tourism, and Bambangan Lama Recreational Centre.

Kiulu assemblyman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said the operators have been shortlisted to submit their nominations to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) for the ASEAN Community-Based Tourism Standard Category.

“This is a positive development for Kiulu folks as it signifies rural progress in tourism,” he said at the launching of Kipumpun Riverside Camp and Stand-Up Paddle Tourism Centre in Kiulu, on Sunday.

“Obtaining the ASEAN Standard accreditation for our community-based tourism operators reaffirms Kiulu’s commitment to sustainable tourism practices, which not only preserve our socio-cultural heritage and natural resources but also contribute to the well-being of our community members,” he added.

Kiulu Tourism Association president Meijin Maginggow was also present at the launching event.

Joniston, who is also chairman of the Sabah Tourism Board, stressed this accreditation enhances Kiulu’s visibility on the international stage, attracting more responsible travellers who seek authentic experiences and are willing to support local initiatives.

“It brings economic benefits to the Kiulu community by generating income opportunities, creating jobs, and stimulating local businesses.

“Moreover, it empowers our community members to take ownership of their tourism activities and foster a sense of pride in their cultural and environmental assets,” he said.

The ASEAN CoBT Standard serves as a framework, offering comprehensive performance indicators for the coordinated management of tourism products operated by communities through a CoBT Committee.

Kiulu has grown from having a small number of tourism operators to over 70 businesses, most of which are CoBT.

Kiulu, together with Kadamaian, was selected as a pilot project for rural tourism

-Avila Geraldine / Dino