Look into edu-tourism, urges Minister
Tourism is the future industry of Sabah and edu-tourism is the next course of action for the tourism industry players in the State to look into, said Datuk Masidi Manjun. According to the Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, people do not need a special skills to be involved in the industry, but they have to master the English language and public relations in order to survive in the globalised world. “People who want to be involved in the tourism industry have to improve themselves by learning to communicate better,” he said after a briefing by Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (UNITAR) Adjunct Professor and CEO of Sabah International Dynamic Management College (SIDMA College), Professor Dr Morni Haji Kambri. The briefing touched on SIDMA’s introduction of UNITAR Bachelor of Hospitality Management (Tourism) which will start its first intake in July 2008 and the college rebranding by adopting SIDMA College which is currently known as UNlTAR Sabah Regional Center. According to Masidi, edu-tourism can be created as a new niche to attract more tourists who will spend their tourism dollars in the State and edu-tourists who end up furthering their studies in Sabah will spend as much as RM40,000 in the State. “This will create a chain reaction and provide revenue to supporting services in the State Such as travel agents, in-bound tour operators, food courts and restaurants,” he said. Meanwhile, Morni said that the course would create a pathway for the hundreds of Sabah students who are currently doing their diploma in the tourism-related fields at various private colleges such as ATI College and Inti College. He added that it is very timely for SIDMA College which is the first private university to offer the course because the students here have to go to Peninsular Malaysia after completing their diploma before. “I am very optimistic that this course offered by SIDMA College together with UNITAR will also be able to bring in more overseas students,” he said.