STB pays tribute to Sabah Tourist Guides

25 Feb 2022

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah tourism industry has come a long way in providing visitors with a safe, entertaining, and high-quality travel experience through tourist guiding. Even when confronted with adversity, local tourist guides maintain their resilience and optimism by contributing innovative ideas to drive and revitalize the state’s tourism activity. To remain relevant in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) has worked with the Sabah Tourist Guides Association (STGA) to reinvent travel tours and experiences aimed at both local markets and broader audiences via the Internet.

This effort also includes providing local tourist guides with STB-sponsored Online Guided Tour (OGT) courses, which started in October last year, that will allow them to become proficient in leading virtual tours. While travel information is readily available online, STB Chief Executive Officer, Noredah Othman believed that tourist guiding is still necessary for giving travellers a better understanding of places, people, and culture.“The tourism industry has been hit hard by the pandemic.

However, even in the absence of tourists, we must continue to look ahead and innovate to keep tourism activity going, and this is impossible without the assistance of our professional tour guides.

“As there are still restrictions on travel, OGT is the best way to show the world what Sabah has to offer. Therefore, local guides are and have always been the perfect advocates for our tourism because they are remarkable storytellers with the ability to attract tourists to visit Sabah,” said Noredah. She added collaboration in the ongoing virtual tour demonstrating the importance of their role in promoting Sabah by conveying stories about many topics like history, World War 2, traditional plants, wildlife, and even ancient stone monuments, among others.

“As we celebrate International Tourist Guide Day 2022, Sabah Tourism expresses gratitude to local tour guides for their unending dedication and contribution to tourism promotion. At STB, we are always ready to support our guides and STGA,” she said. Such supports include backing STGA in recent bidding to host the 2024 World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations Convention. Although lost to Italy with a mere four votes, STGA nonetheless has managed to put Sabah on the world tourism map.

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Published on: Tuesday, February 22, 2022