Kinabatangan: During a six-day working visit around the east coast of Sabah, the Minister of Tourism and Culture Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Bin Abdul Aziz and his entourage visited Sukau Rainforest Lodge on Monday, 28th March 2016.
Also present at the lodge, Malaysia’s first free-to-air television network, TV3, and the Sabah Parks Board of Trustees Chairman, Dato’ Seri Tengku Dr. Zainal Adlin Bin Tengku Mahamood, who is also one of the lodge’s Conservation Fellows.
During his hour-long visit, Founder and Managing Director of Sukau Rainforest Lodge, Mr. Albert Teo, Sandakan Branch Manager of Borneo Eco Tours, Mr. Fernando D. Rulloda, and Room Division Supervisor of Sukau Rainforest Lodge, Ms. Masnizah Bakri gave him a tour of the lodge.
He visited the Melapi Restaurant, Sundeck (where he was introduced to the local staff), Gecko Lounge, Abai Wing, Ape Gallery, Hornbill Boardwalk, David Attenborough Boardwalk, Bilit Wing, and Gomantong Hall.
“Me and the state are proud that employment opportunities are given to the local communities. I can see that 99.9% of the staff here are from Sukau. This made me happy because when we promote tourism in Malaysia, many will ask what is the purpose of it. We can say that with tourism comes employment opportunities for the local communities, and this is what is happening right now,” said Dato’ Nazri.
The tour follows the presentation of Mr. Albert Teo at Gomantong Hall on the lodge’s history, green policies, community and environmental projects and National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World recognition.
“Today, there are about 20 resorts in the Kinabatangan area. It is important to ensure that the resorts maintain its uniqueness and do not become too commercialised. I am happy with tourism in Sabah because there’s passion and care for the environment. Our buildings must blend in with the natural environment, which will then attract tourists from all around the world to visit Sabah, Malaysia.”
“I hope there will be more local entrepreneurs in Sabah that will follow the footsteps of Mr. Albert,” commented Dato’ Nazri.
His visit ended with a tea break at the lodge’s dip pool site.
Besides Sukau Rainforest Lodge, other tourist attractions he visited include Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, Bakkungaan Kecil and Selingan islands at the Turtle Island Park, Sukau Village and Gomantong Cave in Kinabatangan.