Tourism ministry collaborates with stakeholders to reduce tourism-related incidents in Sabah

KUALA LUMPUR: Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac) has held a special meeting to discuss incidents of accidents involving tourists in Sabah.

Among those in the discussion were representatives from Sabah including the Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry (KePKAS), police, Marine Department and the Semporna district office.

The aim is for all involved parties to reach a consensus in order to enhance the safety aspects of local tourism and reduce the likelihood of future accidents of a similar nature.

Motac minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said 13 cases had been reported to date, including a foreign tourist drowning in Kudat and an incident involving a capsized vessel on Pulau Timba-Timba.

"I insist that this is an urgent issue that needs to be addressed in restoring the country's tourism industry.

"It is important for all departments and stakeholders involved, including the tourism industry itself, to show commitment and address these issues immediately to restore tourist confidence," he said in a statement.

Strengthening safety guidelines through preventative measures, with a particular focus on water activities, boat operators with valid licences, and insurance coverage, was one of the outcomes of the meeting.

Additionally, Motac advocated for rigorous enforcement and unannounced inspections to verify the proper implementation of security surveillance.

"Other matters discussed in the meeting include the need for scuba diving instructors to have a recognised and regularly updated license, the qualifications of scuba diving instructors must be exhibited and fully scrutinised before allowing them to carry out any activity as an additional screening.

"They also have to guarantee the quality of the experience diving for tourists, and addressing hygiene issues in the accommodation environment.

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