Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Promote Natural Resources, Tour Agents told

Eco-tourism can become a leading way for Malaysia to bring in foreign revenue and preserving the rainforests at the same time, said Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk S. Sothinathan.

“For some people, the forests have no value other than for logging.

“Many also do not realise that eco-tourism is a potential tourism area and can be a substitute for logging which only damage our forests,” he told reporters after closing the natural resources courses for tour guides in Taman Alam in Kuala Selangor on Tuesday.

Familiarisation tour: Sothinatan (second from right) speaking to tour guides participating in the course during their visit to Taman Alam, Kuala Selangor.
A total of 49 tour guides took part in event jointly organised by Tourism Ministry, Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Selangor Tourism Action Council, Malaysia Nature Society, Kuala Selangor District Council and HSBC Bank Malaysia Bhd.

Sothinathan said Malaysia was one of 12 countries in the world which had among the best variety of flora and fauna.

“Only well-informed tour guides can make a difference when it comes to promoting the country’s natural resources.

“However, Malaysian tour agents are still lacking in creativity to make the country appealing to foreign tourists.

“For instance, some beautiful water catchment areas are not promoted as tourist destinations. We have failed in this area,” he said, adding that tour agents still had a lot to improve on.

“We are talking about attracting millions of tourists, especially in Selangor a state that is rich with natural beauty.

“We can’t go far without good and professional tour guides who know things around them well,” he added.

Source : STAR
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