Malaysian High Commissioner to UK endorses Sabah's new destination branding
Liew (2nd left) presenting Sabah's promotional material to Zakri. Looking on from left are Mohd Yusrie, Joniston and Phillipps.
14 March 2023
By Wartawan Nabalu News
LONDON: Sabah’s new destination branding “Feel Sabah, North Borneo” has received support from - Malaysian High Commissioner to the UK, His Excellency Dato' Zakri Jaafar.
Sabah Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Datuk Christina Liew launched the new brand at the ITB Berli 2023 in Berlin, German on Saturday.
Zakri described the new branding as catchy and might bring nostalgic people in the UK to North Borneo, which is now known as Sabah.
However, he stressed that Sabah is part of Malaysia and will always remain so.
According to Zakri, the High Commission of Malaysia in London has been working with Tourism Malaysia to promote the whole of Malaysia, particularly the Borneo part, which includes Sabah and Sarawak.
The High Commissioner highlighted that eco-tourism is a new sector that people from the UK are interested in, and Borneo can provide the experience that tourists are looking for.
"This is because these two states are the areas that can offer the things tourists from here (UK) are looking for. Eco-tourism, this is a new sector that people from this part of the world are really looking forward to," the High Commissioner explained.
Zakri believes that eco-tourism in Borneo can become the preferred choice not only for individual travelers but also for families.
Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, the Ministry's Permanent Secretary Datuk Mohd Yusrie Abdullah, and members of the Sabah delegation were present at the dinner meeting.
During the dinner, ecologist Quentin Phillipps, who attended with his wife Honor, presented two of his books to the Minister - The Third Edition of Phillipps' Field Guide To The Birds of Borneo (Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei & Kalimantan), and the Second Edition of Phillipps Field Guide To The Mammals of Borneo And Their Ecology.
In response to a question from Liew who wanted to know more about his fig planting projects in Sabah, Phillipps, who resides at Ealing, West London, said figs are the most important trees in the forests for wildlife.
"So if you want to attract wildlife for tourism or whatever purpose, you need to plant lots of fig trees. When these trees are fruiting, they will attract all the wildlife in the forests," he shared. "So I am helping several projects now in Sabah to plant fig trees."
Phillipps has been interested in the wildlife and natural history of Sabah since a young age and believes that fig trees are the most important trees in the forests for wildlife.
Phillipps also shared that he is helping several projects in Sabah to plant fig trees, which will attract all the wildlife in the forests, making it a prime spot for tourism.
The Minister was pleased to learn that Phillipps would spend about a month visiting the Tawau Hills Park, Kalabakan, and Tabin Wildlife Reserve from July this year for his fig planting mission.
The ecologist has spent at least 30 years in Borneo, dividing his time between Sabah and the UK until the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sabah's new destination branding and eco-tourism efforts are expected to attract more British nationals to the region. The High Commission of Malaysia in London and Tourism Malaysia will continue to work together to promote the whole of Malaysia, particularly the Borneo region, as an eco-tourism destination.