KOTA-KINABALU: The “End in Sipadan” campaign which began last year is receiving a positive response from avid divers taking part in underwater volunteer tourism packages.
The campaign recently saw dive operators offering such packages that among others feature activities including coral planting and building artificial reefs.
Sabah Tourism and Culture Ministry (Motac) director Ag Ahmad Zaki Abu Bakar said, for instance, operators in Mari Mari Sepanggar island here and Bum Bum Island in Semporna have engaged with avid divers to help build artificial reefs within respective house reefs.
“A local operator in Semporna had offered five packages since last month. Those volunteering divers are from peninsular Malaysia,” he said during a recent Motac-media dive team programme here.
The campaign which is held to promote Sabah as a major world-class diving destination would visit diving sites from Mantanani island in Kota Belud to Sipadan Island which would be its final destination.
Ag Ahmad said more focus would be placed on such tourism packages after the campaign ends next month.
Meanwhile, the campaign’s strategic partner Sabah Backpacker Operators Association said the programme had also helped to promote services offered by local diver operators.
Its president Richie Lee said the state was blessed to be surrounded by South China, Sulu and Sulawesi seas.
“This campaign also hopes to send messages to operators “to give back” to the ocean (through conservation), since it is a place where they earn their living.”