Is this the way to promote tourism in Malaysia?? I have been a regular visitor to Mount Kinabalu for the past 6-7 years, taking groups of trekkers up the summit. Its was until last year when there was a price hike as well as the entire management of the lodging was outsource to Sutera Santuary Lodges (own by the Sutera Harbour Group). We are forced to take up the climb package from them else we can forget about the summit. And guess what the package is a rip off as far as I am concern. Thats RIDICULOUS!!!!
Sabah Parks director, Paul Basintal, says that the price of accommodation at Kinabalu Park, including on the mountain, is mentioned under Clause 30 of the Agreement between Sabah Parks and Kinabalu Nature Resort Sdn Bhd (now known as Sutera Sanctuary Lodges).
“The company requires approval from the Board of Trustees of the Sabah Parks if it plans to increase the rates,” Basintal says in an e-mail.
The Board includes officials from Sabah’s Tourism Development, Environment, Science and Technology, Finance and Natural Resources Ministries.
“In 2008, the company introduced the mountain climbing package (lodging inclusive of five meals), thus leading to the increase of price.”
Sutera Sanctuary Lodges (SSL) pays an annual resthouse fee of RM986,000 to Sabah Parks in exchange for the handling of lodge operations. However, SSL doesn’t contribute to any conservation or research projects for Kinabalu.
From this reply, it looks like the changes are here to stay and climbing Kinabalu is a take-it-or-leave-it option. Either you save up and plan your climb way in advance or drop all your plans and go elsewhere.