Tourism players urged to help to develop Sabah economy
Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Karim Bujang has urged tourism players to actively assist the State Government in developing the economy and focus on greater efforts in bringing in more tourists to the State. Karim made the call when launching Scubazoo Images Sdn Bhd’s coffee table book entitled ‘Reef exploring the underwater world’ in Sabah at Le Meridien Hotel here yesterday. According to the assistant minister, diving is a popular tourism activity in Sabah and it will make a wonderful life experience for a person. “Last year there were 28,000 divers who contributed RM14O million. This shows that tourism really helps to develop our country’s economy,” he said. Karim said Scubazoo’s production would help to promote Sabah as a tourism destination in the world, especially in the ecotourism sector. “Reef is the best publication that I have seen so far because I can feel an intense love, understanding and appreciation of the marine world in the photos shown in Reef and this makes it so special,” he added. Reef will promote Sabah as the best underwater world spot for tourists, especially divers when it is distributed worldwide and translated into four different languages besides its English version. So far Reef has been translated into French and Japanese for the world market. “The main goal is to create a higher level of awareness about the marine environment, its inhabitants, biology and the importance and need for its preservation for the future,” said Roger Munns, one of the Scubazoo’s photographer team members in his speech. Scubazoo’s strong commitment to marine environment is reflected when 10 percent of the profits from the sale of the book will be donated to the Marine Conservation Society and used to help the research team in Tun Sakaran Park, Semporna for marine conservation and awareness projects. “The funds contributed by our organization will help the State (Tun Sakaran Park) to create awareness about marine environment and the need for its preservation for the future,” said Jason Isley in his interview. Also present at the function yesterday were Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Tengku Adlin Zainal and Scubazoo senior officers.