Deputy Chief Minister Christina Liew, warned about compromising the sustainability of nature tourist attractions in the State. These destinations have been accepting visitors beyond their carrying capacity and this could be an error with potentially detrimental consequences.
According to Liew, Sabah's tourism attractions are made up mostly of natural landmarks that preserve wildlife, flora, and fauna displayed in sanctuaries, rivers, parks, forests, islands, and beaches.
"These destinations are not meant for mass tourism.
"We need to look ahead in getting quality and responsible tourists," said Christina, who is also the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment.
According to her, rapid visitor growth and a higher demand for nature tourism experiences have led to greater pressure to expand and accept visitors beyond their carrying capacity being placed on the many natural attractions of Sabah, including the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park off Kota Kinabalu.
"If this situation carries on, the sustainability of these tourist attractions could be compromised," she pointed out.
A possible solution that the minister highlighted, was for the tourism industry to begin promoting beyond Kota Kinabalu, focusing instead on destinations like Kudat as well as the east coast towns of Sandakan, Lahad Datu, and Tawau.