October 4, 2010 at 9:43 am
Tourism Malaysia is working with Sabah Tourism Board (STB) to push and start developing flower trails in Sabah as the next major tourism product, where exotic orchids here will play a major part.
Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said Sabah had the necessary strength with at least 1,200 orchid species flourishing at its rainforests here, while the move was also part of Tourism Malaysia’s efforts to develop recreation parks and nature trails as tourism attractions in the country.
“We are now working on these trails by looking at the directory of trails, trail packages, and other important aspects such as trainings for specialised flower trail guides.
“So together with the Tourism Ministry’s product development division, we hope to present it to the world at the International Tourism Exhibition in Berlin in March next year,” she told reporters after launching the Orchid Seminar and Workshop here, Sunday.
The seminar and workshop was held in conjunction with The Borneo Orchid Show held from Oct 1-5 here.
There is an estimated 1,600 species of orchids in Borneo, where 1,200 of them are found in Sabah with 860 species in Mount Kinabalu alone.
According to Ng, the flower trails product was one of their strategies to attract high-yield, longer-staying tourists.
“These are tourists ‘with time on their hands’, as it will take them days to go for different packages, and we expect them to be repeat tourists. They can go to trails at Tenom, and maybe next time they return, they will want to go to Danum Valley or Mt Kinabalu,” she added.
On related developments, Ng has also asked STB to look into the possibility of bidding to host the World Orchid Conference in Sabah in future, as the last time it was held in Malaysia was in 2002 in Shah Alam.
The World Orchid Conference is held every three years and the next one will be held in Singapore next year.