Sabah in East Malaysia looks at promoting astrotourism, especially astrophotography activities. The new tourism product has been created by the Tourism and Culture Ministry of Malaysia (Motac) to attract sky observation’s lovers. The State of Sabah was selected as the region is considered suitable for stargazing due to the low light pollution rate and cloud formation, making it easier for enthusiasts to view the skies at night.
The ministry’s State Director, Ag Ahmad Zaki Abu Bakar, said the two new products will be a new selling point for the tourism sector in Malaysia. “Astrotourism is based on the concept of Millions Stars Hotel, where visitors can spend the night outdoors, with only the stars and nocturnal skies as a roof. These activities would be able to woo more tourists to Sabah with proper planning,” he said.
The same goes to photographers who love to capture the images of the stars or galaxies and at the same time promote the State as a destination for stargazers. He said astrotourism will not only launch the State as a destination to watch the stars but also will help promote educational tourism.
An event was organized last June to observe meteor’s “showers” in a pristine environment. “This is the second time we organised the event and this time we received an overwhelming response with 500 club members, the general public and many students. We hope the cooperation and support from Motac will continue in the future,” indicated the ministry’s State Director, Ag Ahmad Zaki Abu Bakar. Close to 50 meteors and fireballs could be seen during the programme, while a briefing was also given by an officer from the National Science Planetarium.