Part 1 The National Ecotourism Plan

Prepared for the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism Federal Government of Malaysia




The Malaysian National Ecotourism Plan is a study prepared for the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism, Government of Malaysia. It consists of seven parts:

Part Part Part Part Part Part


2 3 4 5

Ringkasan Eksekutif I Executive Summary The National Ecotourism Plan Ecotourism Potential: Site Listings Ecotourism Guidelines for Malaysia Current Status of Ecotourism in Malaysia Malaysia's Place in the Region Annexes

WWF Malaysia
Dr Isabelle Louis Dr Geoffrey Davison Dr Junaidi Payne Wendy Yap Pamela Fletcher Elley Lina

Arq. Hector Ceballos- Lascurain IUCN Ecotourism Consultancy Programme, Mexico Camille Bann Economist, London, United Kingdom Malcolm George CRC Cobham Resource Consultants, Abingdon, UK Generous assistance during the preparation of the study was given by all those mentioned in Part 6, Annexe 2. Permission to use photographs in Part 2 was granted by the photographerslWWF Malaysia Resource Centre.

~~. WWF Malaysia
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Malaysia Locked Bag No. 911, Jalan Sultan Post Office 46990 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia Tel: 03-7579192 Fax: 03-7565594



HOW TO USE THE NATIONAL ECOTOURISM PLAN The Malaysian National Ecotourism Plan includes the following parts: Ringkasan Eksekutif / Executive Summary Part Part Part Part Part Part 1 2 3 4 5 6 The National Ecotourism Plan Ecotourism Potential: Site Listing Ecotourism Guidelines for Malaysia Current State of Ecotourism in Malaysia Malaysia's Place in the Region Annexes

It is the objective of the National Ecotourism Plan to assist the Government of Malaysia at

Federal and State level in the development of Malaysia's ecotourism potential. The Plan is intended to serve both as an appropriate instrument within the overall sustainable development of Malaysia and the economy as a whole, and as an effective tool for conservation of the natural and cultural heritage of the country.

How to use the Plan
The general flow of the document is as follows. Part 1, the plan itself, proceeds from policy matters to the identification of 14 broad strategies which should be utilised in developing ecotourism. Based upon discussions with all sectors (government, businesses, customers and local residents), the plan then identifies 37 issues to be tackled. The plan sets out 21 Action Plans which will address these 37 issues. They range from the definition of ecotourism through legal changes to monitoring and finance. The Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism is a lead player and co-ordinator, but these 21 Action Plans contain something for everyone. Finding the Actions Recommended for Each Body The Executive Summary contains a matrix (pp. 27-38) showing the actions recommended for each agency, business and community to undertake. The staff of any given agency or sector (e.g., State Economic Planning Unit; State Forestry Department; tour operators) can find, under their name, the recommended actions listed by number. The numbers refer to each of the actions from the Action Plans which are given in full in #10 (10.1 to 10.21) of Part 1, the National Plan; to the Ecotourism Site development suggestions in Part 2; and to the Guidelines in Part 3.


Part 2 lists existing and potential ecotourism areas in each State throughout Malaysia,

with details of the access, facilities, attractions and activities of each one. Ecotourism area development suggestions are identified, described, and ranked in order of priority. This is essential material for the expansion and management of ecotourism areas, so that potential ecotourist numbers and revenue can be realised. Ecotourism developments must be accompanied in many cases by reservation of land to conserve the natural assets. The index of agencies given in the executive summary shows which agencies are expected to play a lead role in the development of each site, whether by developing such sites themselves, or by providing facilities and infrastructure to encourage the private sector.
Finding the References to Each State

The first index at the end of the Executive Summary lists all references to place names throughout the National Ecotourism Plan, according to State.
Part 3 of the report is a compilation of Guidelines. These form a basis for specific

activities and functions in all ecotourism areas (e.g., carrying capacity, health and safety); and for management of sites in specific habitats (e.g., caves, mountains). These guidelines are available for use especially by planners, area managers, and the private sector. They should be continually revised and strengthened, and enforcement methods put in place. Part 4 describes the current state of ecotourism in Malaysia. It describes ecotourism areas, ecotourist numbers, characteristics and attitudes. It describes some of the perceptions and attitudes of foreign and domestic tour operators, tourists and local communities. It is relevant to identifying many of the issues and strategies in other parts of the Plan, especially the needs of site planning for the benefit local communities. Part 5 describes the tourism and ecotourism situation in countries of the Asia Pacific region, and places Malaysia within this context. It is largely background material. Part 6 provides supplementary material including a bibliography, a list of training institutions and contacts, a list of known nature-based tour operators in Malaysia and other countries, and various appendices. These materials may form parts of data-bases for those active in ecotourism promotions, training and research.
Topics of Special Interest

The second index at the end of the Executive Summary lists the main page references to topics of special interest, for example Local Community Participation, Guide Training, Mountains, or Whitewater Rafting





The National Ecotourism Plan

TABLE OF CONTENTS Page No. How to Use the Plan Table of Contents PREAMBLE Definition of Ecotourism iii v

ix xi 1



of Relevant Concepts

1.3 1.4 1.5

1.1 1.2


Sustainable Tourism Adventure Tourism Nature Tourism Ecotourism Is it Ecotourism? Categorising Ecotourism Attractions

1 2 2 2



9 9

2.1 2.2

Historical Background Current Situation

15 15 19

Legal and Institutional 3. 1 3.2


The Tourism Industry Protection of Land and Natural Resources Related to Tourism

4 5

Policy Considerations Justification 5.1 5.2 and Budgetary Issues of Ecotourism

33 35

Economic Impacts of Tourism Justification and Budgetary Issues of Protected and Managed Areas v

2 8.3 9.11 7.4 9.1 7.2 6.6 7.5 7.2 7.1 6.5 Existing Tourism Growth Scenarios Scenarios for Ecotourism Expansion Are the Estimates Realistic? Implications for Area Management Service Sector Mix and Role of SMls 9 Identification of Main Issues 9.10 7.3 7.9 7.2 9.6 Interface of Ecotourism with·Malaysia's Tourism Policy and National Planning Strategies 6.3 Interface with National Tourism Policy Policy and Planning in Other Sectors Relationship between Ecotourism and Environmentally Responsible Tourism 37 37 41 43 45 46 48 49 53 53 53 54 54 54 54 55 55 55 55 59 59 60 65 66 67 71 7 Identification of Main Strategies 7.12 7.3 8.8 7.5 Conditions for Tenure of Ecotourism Sites Short Term Planning Ecotourists' Expectations Procedures for Acquiring Statistics Lines of Government Authority VI 71 74 76 77 79 .4 7.7 7. 1 8.1 9.14 Mechanisms for Intersectoral Participation Establishment of Natural Areas for Ecotourism Regionalisation Approach Criteria for Selection of Areas Funding Mechanisms Identification of Main Activities and Circuits Carrying Capacity and Limits of Acceptable Change Appropriate Design and Construction of Physical Facilities Marketing and Promotional Strategies Monitoring and Evaluation Minimisation of Negative Impacts Manpower Training Environmental Education and Awareness Legal Provisions and Changes Ecotourism within Overall Tourism Context 8 Establishment of Planning Horizons 8.13 7.4 8.

7 9.25 9.11 9.28 9.9.24 9.10 9.18 9.8 9.17 9.30 9.37 10 National Objectives of Ecotourism Criteria for Assessing Proposals Land Use Decisions Controls for Ecotourism Activities Perceptions of Ecotourism Availability of Information Amount of Benefits to Conservation Carrying Capacity Identification of Sites Technical Data on Sites Management of Reserved Sites Alienation of State Land Sites Loss of Alienated Land from Ecotourism Degradation of Sites Contributions to Education and Awareness Process for Assessing Proposals Suitability of Developers Development of New Products Mass Tourism at Ecotourism Sites Suitability of Products Weaknesses in On-Site Management On-Site Staff Capacity Emphasis on Infrastructural Development Guidance and Rules for Private Sector Inadequate Marketing Plan Human Resource Development Local Community Involvement Tourist Safety Framework for Fiscal Aspects Suitability of Current Operators Government Loss of Opportunities and Revenue Economic Advantages Held by Large Operators 80 81 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 103 104 106 107 110 112 113 115 116 118 119 120 123 123 124 124 Action Plans Mechanisms to Facilitate Implementation Interactions between Components of the Plan Specific Action Plans List and summary of agency involvement vii .32 9.19 9.36 9.27 9.29 9.9 9.15 9.14 9.22 9.12 9.33 9.20 9.16 9.6 9.21 9.26 9.23 9.35 9.31 9.13 9.34 9.

21 Upgrade Standards of Tourist Information Literature Appendix 1.4 10.11 Implement Guidelines and Integrate Them with Planning.9 Expand and Improve Management of a Nationwide System of Ecotourism Areas 10.5 10.and Agro-tourism Implementation Committee to Implement the National Ecotourism Plan Implement Legal Changes to Support the Plan Implementation Adopt and Promote the National Ecotourism Plan Establish a Monitoring and Evaluation Programme for the National Ecotourism Plan 138 140 144 148 156 160 Site Planning and Management 10.20 Establish Training and Promote Certification for Ecotourism Guides 10. Applications and Management Plans 10.Implementing 10.19 Establish and Promote an Ecotourism Product Development Programme 10.15 Identify and Promote Fiscal Measures to Encourage Ecotourism Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building 10.16 Establish a Human Resource Development (HRD) Plan 10.17 Ensure Local Community Participation in Ecotourism 10.10 'Elaborate Development and Management Plans for Each Ecotourism Area 10. Matrix of agencies/action plans/guidelines/site listings for action Appendix 2.7 Establish Complementary Planning Procedures for Ecotourism Site Development 10. and related ecotourism services Index Vlll 168 172 177 180 198 200 206 210 228 233 240 244 260 267 277 279 291 .13 Establish Additional Products and Management at Taman Negara 10.8 Establish Complementary Application Procedures for Ecotourism Site and Product Development 10.3 10.18 Investigate Feasibility of an Accreditation Scheme 10.2 10.14 Establish and Promote a Consistent Marketing Strategy 10.12 Establish a Series of Pilot Ecotourism Projects 10.1 10.6 the National Ecotourism Plan Adopt and Promote a Clear Definition of Ecotourism Adopt and Promote a Clear Policy on Developing Ecotourism Strengthen the Eco. List of organisations running courses relevant to ecotourism.

The terms of reference contained four immediate objectives. It began on 16 December 1994 and ended on 15 December 1995. and their relationship to those of the region. Fulfilled by Part 5 MaJaysia's Place in the Region IImmediate Objective B: Analysis A critical analysis and diagnosis ofthe present state of ecotourism in Malaysia.PREAMBLE The National Ecotourism Plan is the result of a study commissioned by the Ministry of Culture. the one-year study was awarded to the World Wide Fund for Nature Malaysia. After revision and fmalisation of terms of reference and budgets. The terms of reference contained one general development objective. Fulfilled by Part 4 The Present State of Malaysian Ecotourism ix . listed below together with the ways in which they have been fulfilled: IImmediate Objective A: Background An analysis of Malaysia's key ecotourism assets and attractions (both natural and related cultural). The study originated with the preparation of draft terms of reference in 1994 by the IUCN Ecotourism Consultancy Programme (now the Program of International Consultancy on Ecotourism by the Special Advisor on Ecotourism to IUCN World Conservation Union). Arts and Tourism. This objective is fulfilled by the report as a whole. Government of Malaysia. to assist the Government of Malaysia in planning the development of Malaysia's ecotourism potential through the setting up of a National Ecotourism Plan.

additional to the above requirements.Immediate Objective C: Planning and Management Preparation of an overall draft country plan.. including various components. with indications of Fulfilled by Part 2 Ecotourism Potential Site Listing The detailed terms of reference are included in Annexe 1 in Part 6 of the report.. and preparation of various draft guidelines. allows.. Fulfilled by Part 1 The National Plan . which contains a variety of subsidiary material. x . . so far as their sensitivity their current and potential importance. Fulfilled by Part 3 Ecotourism Guidelines for Malaysia Immediate Objective D: Ecotourism Potential To categorise and list sites..

has low visitor impact. and provides for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local populations" (Ceballos. in order to enjoy and appreciate nature (and any accompanying cultural features.Lascurain. 1993) xi .Ecotourism is: "environmentally responsible travel and visitation to relatively undisturbed natural areas. both past and present) that promotes conservation.

Which definition to adopt is partly a matter of convenience. In preparing a National. "development") which optimizes the economic and other societal benefits available in the present. without jeopardizing the likely benefits for similar benefits in the future" (Goodland and Ledec. 1987.1. 1989). and agrotourism. which in turn is defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (Brundtland. and both the definitions and the activities merge into one another. that contribute to sustainable development. It is acknowledged that not all such activities are harmless to the environment. green tourism. Long term success requires the introduction of sustainability into existing and future tourism practice. and contrasted with conventional 'hard' tourism. adventurous activities such as rock climbing and whitewater rafting. including considerations such as brevity and clarity. rural tourism and adventure tourism. natural history tourism. there is a pressing . Few of these terms have been well defined. 1. sustainable tourism.. which gives rise to tourism". Such activities as a whole have been termed 'soft' or 'alternative' tourism. 1988)~ and "improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems (Caring for the Earth: IUCNIUNEPIWWF. compatible with keeping in perpetuity the protected heritage resource. Ecotourism Plan that identifies existing and potential sites and activities in Malaysia. ecotourism. Definition of relevant concepts Travel in order to enjoy and appreciate nature has a long history. can include the enjoyment of nature and landscapes. Amongst the many other definitions of sustainable development are: "a pattern of social and structural economic transformations (i. Tourism to enjoy nature can also harm nature. As the century comes to a close. whether based on natural or human-made resources. 1992) is "all forms of tourism development. 1991). Under this philosophy.1 Sustainable tourism Sustainable tourism is understood as a component of sustainable development. The number of activities covered by such definitions is very wide. involving a sequence of economic tourism products. use of four-wheel drive vehicles in forest and rivers can cause significant damage to soil and to water quality. a key consideration is the development of a long term economic resource.e. be it natural or cultural. It has gone under a variety of names such as nature tourism. cited by McNeely. management and activity which enable a long life for the activity of tourism. for example. The term sustainable tourism is thus employed to denote all types of tourism. Rural tourism. For example. as defined by Travis and CeballosLascurain (FNNPE.

1. sport hunting and fishing. Nature tourism includes the concept of adventure tourism described above. as defined by the IUCN (World Conservation Union) International Ecotourism Consultancy Programme. This concept is then related to responsible tourism so as to provide a more holistic approach to the development of ecotourism. even if the use of the resources by the tourist is not a wise or sustainable one (Healy. 1994). . denotes all tourism directly dependent on the use of natural resources in a relatively undeveloped state. wilderness camping.2 Definitions ECOTOURISM Pt. water features. in order to enjoy and appreciate nature (and any accompanying cultural features. 1986).4 Ecotourism Ecotourism. 1. 1992. vegetation and wildlife. All forms of tourism recommended under the National Ecotourism Plan aim to be sustainable tourism. abseiling. Alternative definitions include "travel to natural areas and participation in nature-related activities without degrading the environment and preferably promoting natural resource conservation" (Ti. including scenery. 1992b. topography. Ceballos-Lascurain. mountaineering and caving. 1992). 1993a). has low visitor impact.2 Adventure tourism Adventure tourism usually refers to tourism activities with a component of physically exerting and risk-taking activity such as rock climbing. is "environmentally responsible travel and visitation to relatively undisturbed natural areas. nature tourism can include countryside motorbiking. also known as nature-based tourism. Such activities may also fall under the scope of nature tourism or ecotourism. as well as instilling a sense of user responsibility . water skiing. In this sense. and whitewater rafting. and "tourism which promotes the conservation of natural resources and habitats" (Boo. all tourism should aim to be sustainable. 1. But the concept of sustainable tourism is much wider than just ecotourism. but the use of the term adventure tourism gives no indication as to whether the activities are carried out sustainably by minimizing impacts on the environment and culture. Butler. mountaineering. both past and present) that promotes conservation. and provides for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local populations" (Ceballos-Lascurain. 1 need for all types of tourism to be integrated under the general heading of sustainable tourism.3 Nature tourism Nature tourism.

low impact. appreciation of nature. Accordingly. becoming a tool for conservation. 1 Definitions 3 In other words. and fostering sustainable development. nature and nature-based tourism. Birdwatcher who disturbs nests in order to get good pictures. not so much on the type of activity per se. A. and some aspects of adventure tourism. The plan will thus help to ensure that all such activities are carried out as sustainable tourism. or goes on tour with a foreign leader and no local counterpart. activities should be low impact. ecotourism denotes nature tourism with the element of sustainability introduced. not paying entrance fees. Activities such as fishing. That is. and bringing all their food in packages from outside the area: NOT ECOTOURISM .5 Is it ecotourism? Whether or not an activity qualifies to be called ecotourism depends on the way the activity is carried out. 1. and involvement of local communities.ECOTOURISM Pt. in this study "nature tourism" and "nature-based tourism" will be used interchangeably to denote tourism dependent on relatively undisturbed natural resources. promoting conservation. suggesting a learning component.g.tourism that is both dependent on relatively undisturbed natural resources and helps society achieve sustainable development. involving local communities. rafting and mountain climbing can be related closely to ecotourism by strengthening their management objectives and operation. Examples involving behaviour of the tourist: E. "Ecotourism" will be used to describe such tourism only when an additional characterisation of sustainability is intended -. the scope of work must include ecotourism in the strict sense. So far as the National Ecotourism Plan is concerned. The key elements of the definition are: • • • • • undisturbed natural areas.

4 Definitions ECOTOURISM Pt. frightens bats into flight so as to get good pictures. Caver who uses flash photography. entering protected areas. spends money in the region especially amongst the local people. 1 Birdwatcher who is respectful of the environment. does not litter or make grafitti: ECOTOURISM E. touches everything. engages a local guide/counterpart. driving too fast creating dust and racing. who stay on an approved route. makes marks on the cave wall as a guide for himself. may take a few empty shells of molluscs if there are plenty. but does not take live ones. collects live molluscs for their shells. cutting vegetation to make bridges and new access routes: NOT ECOTOURISM Users of four-wheel drive vehicles where no other access is possible (no landing strip. who minimise soil erosion by not making detours and cutting comers. throws away his torch batteries in the cave: NOT ECOTOURISM Caver who does not use flash. damages it with his flippers. Snorkeller at a coral reef who treads on coral. cutting comers and making detours. and does not feed the creatures there: ECOTOURISM E. takes only photographs.g.g. breaking off coral to take home as a souvenir. paved roads).g. obeys the rules and regulations of marine parks. river access. who deviate from approved route. including buying his simple meal on the spot: ECOTOURISM E. and feeds bread to small fish: NOT ECOTOURISM Snorkeller who avoids treading on coral and does not touch it. Drivers of four-wheel drive vehicles for purposes of sport. makes little noise. who do not cut trees to make bridges: ECOTOURISM . uses speargun to kill big fish. playing loud radios. does not disturb wildlife.

never the main attraction: ECOTOURISM E. giving sufficient. but artificial. and subsequently job opportunities. accurate information and good on-site interpretation (nature and culture) to clients.g. and improperly disposing of garbage.g.g. not recycling. removing or otherwise properly disposing of garbage. offering environmentally damaging activities such as four-wheel drive activities in protected areas: NOT ECOTOURISM Tour operator who may/may not imitate the operations of other ecotour operators. giving opportunities to local people for training. and the exhibits all orientated towards an understanding of the natural and cultural environment. 1 Definitions 5 B. brings food from the city not buying locally. Theme park (such as Disneyworld) in which the main attractions are not natural or traditional. exceeding local carrying capacity. buying food locally where possible. not treating wastes. offering ecologically acceptable activities which are appropriate to the area: ECOTOURISM E. bright lights and loud noise. noisy vehicles and huge crowds: NOT ECOTOURISM Interpretative centre in a national park with modest low-key architecture harmonising with the environment. Tour operator who copies other ecotour operators but does so in a disturbing way. using noisy generators. Hotelier who runs an hotel which does not treat refuse or waste water. air conditioning. recycling materials where possible. not attempting to train up local guides. has inappropriate architecture. as a complement to other activities the visitor has performed/will perform in a natural area. treating wastes properly. Examples involving the tourism service sector E. keeps a caged animal behind the hotel. using plastic palm trees and rubber rhinos. but if so then copies examples of best practice. does not recycle products. giving poor and inadequate information and on-site interpretation to clients. but who advertises himself as an ceo-hotelier: NOT ECOTOURISM .ECOTOURISM Pt. concrete construction. isolating noisy and polluting equipment and minimising energy consumption. not exceeding local carrying capacity.

placing the burden of his operation on taxpayers. and who takes inadequate precautions to avoid and minimise pollution: NOT ECOTOURISM An investor whose business plan is designed to implement an integrated. to develop the project without consulting local residents. which establishes a joint venture arrangement with existing villagers to provide home stay accommodation.g. where the investor's role is to seek and bring guests to the island. and where the investor decides to limit the tourist carrying capacity based on existing wellwater supplies and on number of participating households: ECOTOURISM D. and does not keep caged animals: ECOTOURISM C. sustainable island and marine-based project. and to resettle local fishermen and employ a foreign workforce (thereby avoiding social obligations and the need to invest in manpower training). to bring in more than 500 tourists annually (thereby enjoying further income tax exemption). who prepares a bogus Environmental Impact Assessment merely to fulfill legal obligations. which involves no earthcutting or removal of vegetation. treating refuse and wastes appropriately. Example involving a government agenQy E. Example involving an investor E. and favouring tourists over residents). where the number of buildings and tourists is based on profitability rather than site carrying capacity.6 Definitions ECOTOURISM Pt. recycling products when possible and minimising energy consumption. An investor whose business plan is geared entirely to existing financial incentives and savings. who pressures the government to pay for utilities such as water supply (thereby saving his own costs. allowing the company sole rights to the area for building and running tourist accommodation. who proposes to apply for title to land on an island surrounded by coral reefs (thereby enjoying tax exemption and acquiring the ability to speculate on land prices and potentially sell the land at profit). and . A forest area reserved and protected by law is leased to a large company for a trivial annual rent.g. 1 Hotelier who runs an hotel with appropriate low-key architecture blending into natural surroundings that have been disturbed as little as possible. without conducting a site carrying capacity study. and to provide management expertise.

g. observing nature. and bright lights all night: NOT ECOTOURISM Trekking up Kinabalu. over-sized lodging and restaurants. 1 Definitions 7 where the approving authority does not carry out site inspections either before or after tourism development: NOT ECOTOURISM A government agency holds discussions with a community residing just outside a protected forest and assists them in drawing up an agreement to lease a part of the nearby Malay Reserve or Native Reserve land to a tour operator known to have developed a working ecotourism project elsewhere. keeping to trails.g. Examples involving the local community. or who have appropriate techniques and permits for making souvenirs from sustainably produced local products. Local people who sell unsustainable souvenirs such as 'golden chickens' (fern fronds) in the highlands of Malaysia.ECOTOURISM Pt. using a local guide. Examples involving several sectors: E. not littering. giving correct and sufficient information about them: ECOTOURISM F. conveying incorrect information or none about the souvenir and its significance: NOT ECOTOURlSM Local people who sell fruits from a forest tree. with motorised winch! cablecar. the agency requires the operator to run a manpower development programme in which local people are given the opportunity to be trained as guides and managers. E. Skiing in Malaysia on an artificial slope built in what was intended to be a protected area. and in which registered guides from outside the area learn about the forest and traditions from local elders: ECOTOURISM E. not disturbing wildlife and not using a radio: ECOTOURISM .

Support attractions are constituted by artificial elements (facilities and/or services) that provide the visitor with different satisfactions. the first guideline gives an indication of how to categorise ecotourism attractions. to give sustenance to the flagship and complementary attractions. Activities which can never be ecotourism: ECOTOURISM Pt. 1 Golf sports tourism Jet skiing sports or adventure tourism Uncontrolled collecting of animal or plant specimens 1. for example. Flagship attractions are special natural and/or cultural attractions which characterise an area or region. Zoos. Details can be found in the appropriate Guideline (#1) in Part 3. . Attractions in all three categories are therefore valid recipients of Malaysia's support for ecotourism development. tending to shift them from the category of support attractions into the category of complementary attractions. Ecotourism Guidelines for Malaysia. interpretative centres. Complementary attractions also refer to natural and/or cultural heritage elements that are found in a specific site or region. Nevertheless. but which do not possess such a degree of relevance or singularity as flagship attractions. may carry out conservation programmes through the breeding and re-introduction of rare animals. boat services.6 Categorising Ecotourism Attractions In Part 3 of this report. They are of both national and international importance. and so on. and are the main reason for tourists wanting to visit that area or region. Support attractions are always added a posteriori.8 Definitions G. They are the top few image builders. whether or not they are actually visited by large numbers of people. Zoos and museums are typically support attractions. They may include lodging. They are the large bulk of attractions which form the broad base of ecotourism assets. restaurants. the categories are not clear-cut.

Due partly to its limited financial allocations. Amongst the main reasons for this growth were increased personal income and leisure time.2. thereby giving additional stimulus to tourism investment such as Pioneer Status.1 Historical background Until the 1970s tourism was not regarded as an important economic activity in Malaysia. IDC thereafter became known as Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (or Tourism Malaysia for short). The Tourism Development Corporation of Malaysia (IDC) was set up in 1972. As a result. This provided institutional framework for the planning.5% of the world's workforce were employed by the industry. while other countries in the region such as Singapore. Malaysia remained a relatively poorly known destination. the new Ministry of Culture. as well as fostering national integration and unity. co-ordination. Almost 6. and for the first time tourism was accounted within the framework of recognized economic activities. with a role concentrating only on marketing and promotion. the Malaysian government undertook a series of positive initiatives to stimulate the development of the tourism sector. improvement in international transportation systems. Investment Tax Allowance. licensing and enforcement aspects of the tourism industry. Arts and Tourism in 1990). regulation enforcement of tourism. representing 7. with statutory responsibility to act as a development authority. TDC faced constraints in the effective performance of its catalytic role. Revision of the Investment Incentives Act in 1986 to include the tourism sector. Ecotourism development 2. Thailand and Bali (Indonesia) built on their established reputations as tourism (especially mass tourism) destinations. Industrial Building Allowance. but the sector was given low priority. Recognizing that tourism can playa role in economic and social development. During the 1980s tourism became an increasingly important industry worldwide. and tax exemption for large foreign group tours.3% of total worldwide capital investments. Arts and Tourism took over from TDC the function of formulation and implementation of policies. • . Such developments were felt by Malaysia as well as other countries. and greater public awareness of other parts of the world owing to improved communications. the an and for • By virtue of the Tourism Industry Act 1992 and the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board Act 1992. These included: • Establishment of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 1987 (becoming Ministry of Culture. Investments in new facilities and capital equipment reached around US$350 million per year.

Development allocations under the Fifth and Sixth Malaysia Plans are shown in Table 2. significant attention was given to the tourism sector.5 76. with increased public allocations for marketing and promotional activities.10 • Ecotourism Development ECOTOURISM Pt.1 Development allocation for tourism 'under the Fifth and Sixth Malaysia Plans (1986-1990 and 1991-1995) (RM million) Programme Fifth Plan period 1986-1990 Allocation Expenditure Sixth Plan period 1991-1995 Allocation Expenditure Preservation of nationalJhistorical heritage Tourist accommodation Beautification/cleanliness & environment.1 million under the Fifth Plan.9 79.2 52. the government therefore increased the public allocation for tourism development to RM 533. During the Fourth and Fifth Malaysia Plan periods (1981-1985 and 1986-1990).0 171. Expenditure was RM 125.8 140.4 million tourists as well as revenue of RM4.7 132. Table 2. al protection Cultural product development Facilities and infrastructure Others Total 1.1 157.5 million under the Fourth Plan and RM 132. The Fifth Plan period culminated with Visit Malaysia Year 1990.5 billion.7 49..5 2.4 7.1 2. Under the Sixth Malaysia Plan (1991-1995). which generated a high international profile for Malaysia and attracted 7.7 41.5 43.0 0. facilities and services required to support the future growth of the tourism sector.7 2. infrastructural and product development. 1 In 1990 the Federal Government set up a RM 120 million Special Fund for tourism to stimulate its development including small and medium scale enterprises.9 million.1.2 533.5 2.5 112.6 2.5 0.9 . This allocation has been used to provide and expand the physical and social infrastructure.

low investment. Most of these activities only marginally qualify as ecotourism. Amongst the tour operators leading groups to Taman Negara are several very big companies. Nevertheless. both in objectives and practice. Bako National Park. the number of tour operators interested in ecotourism or nature tourism. Terengganu for turtles. scenery. forests and beaches. Some smaller sites have attracted fewer visitors but are known internatioruilly amongst a sector of the potential market.) is more recent but is rapidly expanding. Many smaller operators have ceased activity in nature-based tourism. Despite the fact that some tourists have carried out activities that could be defined as ecotourism for many years. Niah Caves or Kinabalu Park. The market in specialist adventure activities (four-wheel drive. They are indicative of the conflicts that can arise between adventure tourism. 1 Ecotourism Development 11 Visitors have come to Malaysia for many years to see wildlife. attention to this market component from the tourism sector itself has been slight and patchy. but this is only a tiny part of their total business and income. nature-based tourism and ecotourism. and some are positively harmful to the environment. both of which have particular interest for birdwatchers and are now on the regular itineraries of some specialist as well as general tour companies. or Rafflesia sites in Sabah. and the number of individuals hoping to be ecotour or nature tour guides. Many others have explored this sector with variable success. mountain climbing. In 1994/95 for the first time Tourism Malaysia questionnaires include a breakdown of whether tourists have visited Taman Negara. nor are there detailed visitor profiles of the different nationalities in relation to nature. Various reasons could be cited for their lack of success. Examples include Fraser's Hill and Kuala Selangor. and not much effort has yet been made to look at the ecotourism or nature-based tourism sector in particular. so client dissatisfaction with the product may have little influence upon the company. A difficulty in assessing progress in ecotourism is the shortage of reliable data. There. microlight. are increasing. The situation in Malaysia is therefore similar to experience elsewhere. low expertise and generally have not continued long in the business.ECOTOURISM Pt. when practiced in particularly careful ways. numbers have climbed steadily over the past 30 years. Interest is also expressed through the number of . but they also include one or two places with a single major attraction. or close down. No statistics exist on how many visitors like to go fishing. notably Rantau Abang. Gunung Mulu National Park. many ecotourism businesses remain small. Even tourist numbers as a whole are not easy to analyse. face difficulties in obtaining clientele. etc. whitewater rafting. The numbers involved are very difficult to assess except at a few sites such as Taman Negara and Kinabalu Park. The' well known sites are mainly large with multiple attractions. or seeing forest. Only a few tour operators have a long and consistent record.

7th PATA Adventure Travel and Ecotourisin Conference (Balikpapan. this 2. The thrust of governmental policy on tourism is contained in the Tourism Policy study completed by Peat Marwick (1992). There are about 3. Two public exhibitions on nature-based and adventure tourism have been held in Kuala Lumpur in 1995 alone. many of these act only as intermediaries and pass on these bookings to a relatively small number of companies which deal with particular destinations. there may have been as many as 571. Mid Term Review. March 1994). of whom the majority have a full (general) guiding licence. Some Malaysian specialist guides are of international repute. but a basic pool of resources is available in most fields. Indonesia. Recent examples are the Institute for Development Studies (Sabah) Seminar on Nature Tourism as a Tool for Development and Conservation (Sabah. There are about 2. If. 7% of travel worldwide is nature-related. Information on visitor numbers. 1 workshops and seminars relating to ecotourism. are given in Part 4 of report.2 Current situation A detailed review of the current status of ecotourism in Malaysia is given in Part 4 of this report. and the forthcoming Seventh Malaysia Plan. and what follows is a synopsis. . September 1995). and the Malaysian Tourist Guides Council has arranged a tour guide refresher course with a component on ecotourism and agrotourism. A smaller number has a specialist licence fitting the recipient to carry out guiding based on specific skills. March 1995). Indonesia.500 registered tour guides. of which it is estimated that about 800 are willing to take bookings for travel to naturerelated destinations. ESCAP Expert Group Meeting on Ecotourism and Development in Asia and the Pacific (Bali. and PATA Heritage Conference on Tourism: A Force for Conservation of Nature and Culture (phuket. Malaysia. However. however. together with materials in the Sixth Malaysia Plan. A pilot training course on nature guiding has been carried out. There are thought to be about 30 companies specialising in nature and ecotourism business. Thailand. If. and the Sabah State Tourism Masterplan will be completed in early 1996.000 ecotourists visiting Malaysia in 1994. half of all nonASEAN visitors to Sabah and Sarawak carry out some nature or culture related activity.000 registered tour and travel agencies in Malaysia. as has been suggested. January 1995). then Malaysia in 1994 perhaps attracted 505. and an analysis of the available information on ecotourism numbers in particular. Revenue yielded would have been in the region of RM65 5 million. There is no detailed breakdown of the number of guides with skills in guiding each ecotourism activity.000 ecotourists from overseas. Sarawak has a Second State Tourism Masterplan (1993).12 Ecotourism Development ECOTOURISM Pt.

The same sites are used by many Malaysian tourists. and tourist guides' associations. Sabah and Sarawak probably account for the vast majority of ecotourism by overseas tourists. and financial spin-offs from park operations. At some sites (for example.ECOTOURISM Pt. The involvement of individuals from local communities is patchy from place to place. but these are not ecotourism developments. There are a number of State. Recreation by Malaysians in Peninsular extends to a network of Recreational (Amenity) Forests and a number of unrecorded sites elsewhere in forest. regional and national trade organisations. hiking and trekking.000 overseas tourists per year. Kinabalu Park). Sites exist in which the local community forms a passive component of the tourism product. while the same sites are also used by Malaysians for recreation in Sabah and Sarawak. The number of Malaysians coriducting tourism and/or recreation at most of the same sites is close to or exceeds the number of overseas tourists. Sites also exist in which the local community has in effect been excluded from tourism development. while up to 14% express an interest in walking.000 to 1. About 20 sites in Peninsular Malaysia. local residents are closely involved in guiding. So far. Where local residents are involved in ecotourism. An estimate is that about 7% to 10% of all overseas tourists are involved in ecotourism activities.024. staffing. training courses have not been formalised. there tends to be a shortage of training and management opportunities for them. 1 Ecotourism Development 13 Participation by non-governmental organisations in ecotourism is limited but increasing. These percentages account for about 512. which are beginning to investigate ecotourism and to provide training. .

1 .14 Ecotourism Development ECOTOURISM Pt.

Part I of the Act defines terms. Arts and Tourism is given the responsibility for licensing and enforcement of all matters relating to tourism. 3. granting and revoking of licenses. Part IV deals with the licensing of tourist guides. Part III enumerates the requirements and duties of licensed tourism enterprises. loss. and the legislative incentives that the government has provided. and the appeal procedure. travel agency business. Under this section the following regulations have been made: • • Tourism Industry (Compounding of Offences) Regulations 1992. The Act requires the following businesses to be licensed: • • • • • any any any any any tour operating business. business of providing tourist restaurants.1 'Tourism Industry Act 1992 The Tourism Industry Act 1992 provides for the licensing and regulation of tourism enterprises. business providing tourist accommodation/premises. the bodies set up under such legislation. The Secretary General of the Ministry of Culture. Tourism Industry (Tour Operating Business) Regulations 1992. Part II deals with applications. and Part V is a general section on licence renewal. Business and Travel Agency • Tourism Industry (Licensing and Control of Tourist Guides) Regulations 1992. (Licensing of Tourism Training Institution) • .1. and Tourism Industry Regulations 1994. Section 34 of the Act permits the Minister to make such regulations as he may consider expedient for the purpose of the Act. and business of providing tourism training institutions. Legal and Institutional Framework 3.3.1 The Tourism Industry This section deals mainly with legislation regulating tourism businesses and the environment. penalties and liabilities. and matters relating to such regulation and licensing.

travel trade knowledge (techniques and regulations). geography and history of Malaysia. which is considered separately. The certification of tour guides is conducted by the Ministry of Culture. Arts and Tourism. to give assistance to any governmental or non-governmental agency or organisation appearing to the Board to have facilities for the carrying on of any such activities including. financial assistance by the taking up of share or loan capital or by loan or otherwise. covering tourism. The courses themselves may be organized by an agency outside the Ministry.l All of the above are applicable to ecotourism operations in one way or another. . offered to individuals who already have a specific skill such as scuba-diving or bird identification. . which submits a budget for approval. but only within their specific field of expertise and are not allowed to conduct general or city tours. the art of tourist guiding. Under the Act. and practical work. promote and market. There is so far no system in place for checking the validity or level of skills within the field of expertise of such individuals . These are not specialist courses. A basic course is offered for six weeks full time or two months part time. and follows the Ministry's course curriculum. but an abridged version of the basic course. if they pass the examination. role and functions of the former Tourism Development Corporation. culture. A pilot star rating scheme -has been launched in 1995 amongst a number of hotels within the Klang Valley. Malaysia as a tourist destination. but have no specific provisions for specialist forms of tourism except in the case of the licensing of tourist guides.2 Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board Act 1992 This Act redefined the name..16 Legal and Institutional Framework ECOTOURISM Pt. Such guides.J. system of government. the functions of the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (also now known as Tourism Malaysia) are: • • • to stimulate and promote tourism to and within Malaysia. are then certified to conduct specialist tours.3. Supplementary courses are offered to specialist guides. There is as yet no legal requirement for the certification of hotels or other forms of accommodation in Malaysia. with the approval of the Minister. to stimulate. internationally and locally. national economy.. Course participants mu-t take an examination in order to obtain a certificate.

1 • Legal and Institutional Framework 17 to dispose of capital assets and to use the proceeds from such disposal as the Board deems fit. and adventure activities . It is included in a subtle way within the slogan "Naturally Malaysia" now in use..ECOTOURISM Pt.. This legislation has no specific reference to the role of ecotourism or nature-based tourism. orang utan and Raffiesia pictures). hill resorts. . The Council is intended to enable the Ministry to obtain . as a formal channel in which the private sector and government can air their views.g. and in specific materials such as booklets on diving. suggestions and problems so as to enhance appropriate development. to appoint such agents as it may deem fit for the purpose of performing its functions.1..1. It is noteworthy that in November 1995 the Corporation won the award for Best Stand at the World Travel Mart. a large part of the Corporation's business is related to the promotion of nature tourism. London . and to exercise all powers and perform all duties which. in general images of the country including illustrative material in posters and brochures. under or by virtue of any other written law. This includes general illustrative material (e. • • • • Nature has an important part in marketing and promotional strategies of the Board. which may be used by the Corporation to exercise the Corporation's powers.l. to do such other things as it deems fit to enable it to carry out its functions and powers effectively. by virtue of the many nature-based tourism products in Sabah.U Sabah Tourism Promotion Corporation Enactment 1981 The Sabah Tourism Promotion Corporation is established under this State Enactment. Its functions are similar to those of the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board. may be vested in or delegated to it.A Sabah Tourism Council The Sabah Minister of Tourism and Environmental Development has established a Sabah Tourism Council. Under the Enactment a Sabah Tourism Promotion Fund is established. . However. and brochures on specific nature sites. to impose fees or any charges it deems fit for giving effect to any of its functions or powers.

6 Promotion of Investment Act 1986 This Act promotes the establishment and development of industrial. motel. The Board's functions are promotion. a large part of the Board's marketing and promotional strategies revolves around images of nature. and to provide a forum for disseminating information. "hotel" is defined as any accommodation which includes hotel. . problems and solutions.1.1. to discuss current issues.l the views of the private sector as an input to policy formulation. the private sector. and non-governmental organisations.18 Legal and Institutional Framework ECOTOURISM Pt.5 Sarawak Tourism Board Ordinance 1994 Until 1994 tourism promotion in Sarawak was in the hands of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. The Council was established in 1995 and includes representatives from government. and tourism promotion matters are now in the hands of the newly established Sarawak Tourism Board. 3. A "tourist project" is defined as a project exclusively carried out for a purpose connected with the promotion of tourism and registered with the Tourist Development Corporation. It is worthy of note that within a year of its formation the Board won the World Travel Mart's award in London. 3. chalet or hostel of the approved standard registered with the Tourist Development Corporation (now known as the Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board). In the Act. in November 1995. In 1995 this Ministry was split. marketing. and advice on measures and programmes for the development of the tourism industry. Investment Tax Allowance. The Board was formed in February 1995 and is the marketing ann of the Ministry of Tourism. these incentives are available to "hotel" accommodation projects and other "tourist projects". The chief incentives available to approved tourist projects and hotel businesses include: • • • Pioneer status. agricultural and other commercial enterprises in Malaysia through tax incentives. research. As with the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board and the Sabah Tourism Promotion Corporation. For the tourism sector. Industrial Building Allowance. Its functions and responsibilities are similar to those of the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board and Sabah Tourism Promotion Corporation. but there is also a greater emphasis upon culture.

. The Federal List enumerates the subjects upon which Parliament may legislate. The full list of incentives. # 4. 3. Control over the sea is exercised by State governments up to a limit of 3 krn offshore. is given in detail in Part 5. the exploitation of such resources. In the interests of national development the Federal government. Article 95D and Article 95E of the Federal Constitution. This is attributed to Article 76. This power has not yet been exercised specifically for the benefit of natural resources. and further explanation of each one.2.1. or conservation of the natural resources of a development area. which has been defined as a plan for the development. Article 95D excludes Sabah and Sarawak from Parliament's power to pass uniform laws about land or local government.1 Constitutional Powers The Federal Constitution of 1957 is the supreme law of the country.ECOTOURISM Pt. Those subjects relevant to ecotourism are given in Table 3. The marine and estuarine fisheries resource falls under the Federal List in Peninsular Malaysia. Reduction in service tax.6. and by the Federal government to the limit of the Exclusive Economic Zone 200 nautical miles offshore. or the increase of means of employment in the area.2 Protection of land and natural resources related to tourism 3. under Article 92(1) may proclaim an area or areas as a development area. Income tax exemptions. 1 • • • Legal and Institutional Framework 19 Duty exemptions. and under the Concurrent List for Sabah and Sarawak. and divides legislative power between the central government and the 13 State governments. Thus legislative control over land and forests is held by State governments. and thereupon give effect to a development plan. The States of Sabah and Sarawak have their own legislation and policies relating to the protection and management of natural resources. The Concurrent List gives the subjects on which either the Federal or the State governments may legislate. improvement. The Second or State List deals with the subjects of State Legislative competence.

water (including water supplies. 1(b) 9(d) 11(b) STATE 2 3(a) 3(b) 6(c) 12 15 CONCURRENT 3 5 12 Protection of wild animals and wild birds. Town and country planning. Convention on Biological Diversity). Foreshores.1 Legal and Institutional Framework ECOTOURISM Pt. Turtles and riverine fishing. including land improvement. Maritime and estuarine fishing and fisheries. agreements and conventions with other countries and all matters which bring the Federation into relations with any other country (for example. agreements and conventions with other countries. (NB: This item applies only to States in Peninsular Malaysia. except those wholly within one State or regulated by an agreement between all the States concerned.) Water supplies. Implementation of treaties. 1 Matters relevant to nature and natural resources under the Federal Constitution LIST ITEM MATTER FEDERAL 1(a) Treaties. Land matters.20 Table 3. riparian rights. rivers and canals.) Source: Ninth Schedule of Federal Constitution 1957. Agriculture Forestry Subject to Federal list. excluding turtles. control of silt. rivers and canals). soil conservation and licensing of mining. Maritime and estuarine fishing and fisheries. . National Parks. (NB: This concurrent power applies only to the States of Sabah and Sarawak.

under the list of prescribed activities. development of resort facilities in areas within the foreshores of Sarawak. They are as follows: • construction of coastal resort facilities or hotels with more than 80 rooms. Sarawak. This loophole clearly needs to be addressed.2. the project is not allowed to proceed until approval of the EIA has been obtained from the Department of Environment. powers to require ErAs for certain project activities in Sarawak have been transferred to the Natural Resources and Environment Board. an assessment (EIA) needs to be conducted for specified resort and recreational developments. They can do so by building in phases. buildings exceeding 4 storeys high on hills with slopes of 20 degrees or more. The Environmental Impact Assessment Order is particularly relevant to the tourism sector as. • • • If the proposed development is categorised as a prescribed activity. . The relevant legislation is the Natural Resources (Amendment) Ordinance 1993 and the Natural Resources and Environment (prescribed Activities) Order 1994. Under amendments to existing legislation.ECOTOURISM Pt. Golf courses are included as a prescribed activity under the law. This requires EIAs at State level for construction of parks or resorts. adding up to 150 rooms. roads. The requirement for ErAs only for developments of 80 rooms or more leaves a loophole whereby developers can circumvent the EIA requirements. and use of chemical fertilisers. 1 3. which came into force in September 1994 and March 1995. but golf courses are not a part of ecotourism and can have a high impact on the environment from land clearance.2 Legal and Institutional Framework Activities) (Environmental 21 Impact Environmental Quality (prescribed Assessment) Order 1987 The legal and institutional arrangements have been established so that environmental factors are considered in project planning. for example 75 rooms in the first phase and perhaps another 75 rooms in the second phase. and development of tourist or recreational facilities on islands in surrounding waters which are gazetted as national marine parks. and creation of parks and recreational facilities having an area exceeding 50 hectares for commercial purposes. hill station resort or hotel development covering an area of 50 hectares or more. excessive use of water. golf courses. development of tourist or recreational facilities in national parks.

taking. importing or exporting of protected wild animals or birds. A change in the area in anyone State is subject to the agreement of the other two States. these are enacted under State Enactments.1 National Parks Act 1980 This Act provides for the establishment and control of National Parks.. again. historical and ethnological and other scientific and scenic interest. no National Park has been created under this Act. The objective of establishing National Parks is to preserve and protect wild life. Licenses are necessary for shooting.3. This Enactment gives Johor State Government the power to reserve land for the purpose of a park. To date. One is Taman Negara. There are two areas referred to by the name National Park in Peninsular Malaysia. which straddles three States and is enacted by three separate State enactments in Pahang. not under the National Parks Act. 3. Endau Rompin National Park (Johor) is gazetted under Section 3 of the National Parks (Johor) Corporation Enactment 1989. The term National Park is used for some of the protected areas in Sarawak. placed under the management of the National Parks (Johor) Corporation.2. The States are given the authority to define or alter the boundaries of Wildlife Reserves or Wildlife Sanctuaries. Essentially. Kelantan and Terengganu. Pahang has reserved land in Rompin District as the effective northern half of the Endau Rompin Park. health. plant life and objects of geological.aesthetic values and recreation of the people. the Endau Rompin National Park is a Johor State Park.2.2. . breeding. which may be declared by a State after consultation with the Minister of Science. Under the National Land Code 1965 it is possible for State governments to reserve land or many different purposes. Technology and Environment. archaeological. for example. killing.22 3.1 3. and this power has been exercised for matters relevant to ecotourism.2 Protection of WildLife Act 1972 This act provides for the protection of wildlife and its habitat in Peninsular Malaysia.3. and through their conservation and utilisation to promote the education. Part IV of the Act deals with the creation of Wildlife Reserves and Wildlife Sanctuaries.3 Legal and Institutional Framework Peninsular Malaysia ECOTOURlSM Pt.

Although States create. preserve and manage the natural breeding grounds and habitat of aquatic life.: • • to promote scientific study and research in respect of such area or part thereof. or to plants. Currently there are 38 Marine Parks established under the Establishment of Marine Parks Malaysia Order 1994. The Act does not apply to animals which are unlisted. The objectives of establishing an area of sea as a marine park or reserve are: • to afford special protection to the aquatic flora and fauna of such an area or part thereof and to protect. to preserve and enhance the pristine state and productivity of such area or part thereof. defme. 1 Legal and Institutional Framework 23 The Act contains detailed lists of totally protected. redefine and presumably extinguish Wildlife Reserves and Sanctuaries. and to regulate recreational and other activities in such area or part thereof to avoid irreversible damage to its environment. 3. Part IX of the Act concerns the establishment of Marine Parks and Marine Reserves. underwater photography and snorkelling are often carried out in marine parks. protected and game animals. • • . I· . and riverine fishing.2. their management is carried out by the Federal government through the Department of Wildlife and National Parks. This part of the Act is particularly important to ecotourism as activities such as scuba diving.3.3 Fisheries Act J 985 The Fisheries Act provides for the conservation. management and development of maritime and estuarine fishing and fisheries. and (in an amendment) animals from foreign sources requiring import or export permits under the Convention on Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES).ECOTOURISM Pt. to allow for the natural regeneration of aquatic life in such area or part thereof where such life has been depleted. marine turtles. with particular regard to species of rare endangered flora and fauna.

unless with prior written permission: • • • • • • fishing or attempted fishing. use or possession of certain weapons such as spring-guns.2. management. Amenity Forest. taking. molluscs and corals is allowed. anchoring. 3. These mayor may not be categorised as Forest Sanctuary for Wildlife under the National Forestry Act. construction of any structure or building. dredging. sets out the legal basis for the concept of a national Permanent Forest Estate (PFE). defacing or removing any object. development. and mayor may not be Production Forest for the felling of trees. Forests outside the system of Forest Reserves stand on Stateland. and another (Virgin Jungle Reserved Forest) is important for the conservation of biological diversity. and Education Forest) are of particular relevance to ecotourism. These categories are mapped for some of the forest area. Wildlife Sanctuaries and State Parks. polluting. collection of corals. spear-guns. Section 10 of the National Forestry Act provides for the classification of the PFE into 11 functional categories. or in Wildlife Reserves. which is applicable in Peninsular Malaysia. Section 45(1) of the Act empowers the Minister of Agriculture to make regulations for the zoning. There is also a provision banning the carriage. 1 The following activities are an offence in a marine park. . and where a licence must be obtained in order to enter the area to kill or capture any fish. and destroying. The Fisheries (Prohibited Areas) Regulations 1994 declares five areas to be fisheries prohibited areas where no collection of shells.24 Legal and Institutional Framework ECOTOURISM Pt. consisting of many Forest Reserves which are legislated by States. harpoons and suction guns. Wildlife Reserves and Wildlife Sanctuaries established under the Protection of Wild Life Act 1972 may overlap with Forest Reserves.4 National Forestry Act 1984 The National Forestry Act. Three of these (Forest Sanctuary for Wildlife. removing or possession of any aquatic animal or plant or part thereof alive or dead.3. and damaging habitat. and may overlap. control and protection of marine parks and reserves. and is either intended for incorporation into the PFE or for conversion to other land uses.

2.e. Tawau Hills Park. Kinabalu Park. for example Sipadan island. This function is administered by the District Officer.4. Crocker Range National Park. The two parks with the greatest current significance to ecotourism are Kinabalu Park and Turtle Islands Park. and Class VII Wildlife Reserve includes for example Tabin Wildlife Reserve. Class VI Virgin Jungle Reserve includes for example Sepilok. and control of access. seven classes of Forest Reserve are defined. . Six parks are administered under the Enactment. The main role of the Department is the regulation of hunting and trade in wild manunals. 3. and a full-time management staff'. which includes a Board of Trustees. They are responsible for administration of parks. protection of resources within them..2 Parks Enactment 1984 The Enactment allows for the establishment of parks.2.ECOTOURISM Pt. 3. for example in mangroves and in production forest. i.4. Currently no sanctuaries have been established under this legislation.3 Fauna Conservation Ordinance 1963 The Ordinance is administered by the Sabah Wildlife Department. birds and reptiles. It sets up the agency named Sabah Parks. 3.4 Forest Enactment 1968 (and amendments) Under this Enactment. and Pulau Tiga. All the other classes may include sites which have ecotourism potential.1 Land Ordinance 1930 The Ordinance may be used to reserve land for a variety of purposes. Turtle Islands Park. which can include nature conservation. but the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary is in the process of being established under the Ordinance. At least three classes are currently of ecotourism significance: Class I Protection Forest Reserve includes for example Danum Valley.2.4. Tunku Abdul Rahman Park.4. I Legal and Institutional Framework 25 3.2.

3. and preserving natural features and sites for scientific. and administered by the National Parks and Wildlife Office of the Sarawak Forestry Department. and can include marine. revised as the National Parks and Nature Reserves Ordinance 1990 Under the 1990 amendment of this legislation. and therefore are not of direct relevance to tourism except insofar as they contribute to the maintenance of natural ecosystems.5 Legal and Institutional Framework Sarawak ECOTOURlSM Pt. archaeological. and the forest categories thus set up. recreational. The purposes of establishment of national parks and nature reserves are: preserving the State's general wildlife. attitudes and satisfaction within the State.5. forest management under this legislation is an important factor influencing tourists' experiences.l 3. and they include Sarawak's top visitor attractions for nature-based tourism. estuarine and freshwater areas.5. or geographical features of special interest.2 National Parks Ordinance 1956. The legislation. and communal forests for the use of local communities.26 3. and therefore influence visitor attitudes and satisfaction. Both categories of reserve are open for tourism.Protection Ordinance. fauna.1 Forest Ordinance 1954 and amendments Under the Forest Ordinance 1954. They are not open to tourists.2.2. flora. the National Parks and Wildlife Office of the Sarawak Forest Department can set up National Parks (which are effectively State parks. However. 3. do not have specific reference to tourism. educational and aesthetic value. not covered by the Federal government's National Parks Act 1980) and Nature Reserves. the Sarawak Forest Department has established forest reserves. and so has economic impacts upon the tourism sector. which may be used for timber extraction and other forms offorestry activity. protected forests in which local people have rights to collect certain forest products.2.3 Wild Life Protection Ordinance 1990 Wildlife Sanctuaries in Sarawak are established under the 1990 amendment of the Wild Life .2.5. . wildlife populations.

.2. 1 3.2.4 Legal and Institutional Framework 27 Natural Resources and Environment (Amendment) Ordinance 1993 The Natural Resources Ordinance 1958 was amended in 1993 to revise the composition and powers of a Board.2). The Ordinance contains provisions directed towards the protection and enhancement of the environment in Sarawak. but the wording is such as to enable the Board to declare any area within Sarawak as a park. It is designed to cater for urban and recreational parks. now known as the Natural Resources and Environment Board.2.ECOTOURlSM Pt.5. The Natural Resources and Environment (Prescribed Activities) Order 1994 enables the Board to make rules and regulations pertaining to environmental impact assessments (see #3. Section 10 of the Ordinance (Appendix 1) empowers the Board to order in writing any project proponent or developer to undertake or adopt such measures as may be necessary for the conservation of natural resources or the protection and enhancement of the environment in his project site.5 Sarawak Green Spaces and Public Parks Enactment 1993 This enactment gives broad powers to the Natural Resources and Environment Board to set up green spaces and public parks as amenities.5. 3.

28 Legal and Institutional Framework ECOTOURISM Pt.1 .

where training has to be based upon natural and environmental components. "Special emphasis will be given to the preservation of the natural attractions such as highland and island resorts. One of the objectives given in the Sixth Malaysia Plan (1991-1995) is to "place increasing emphasis upon developing a more distinct Malaysian image and identity The rich natural assets of the country will surely contribute to the attainment of the national image which is sought after. This approach stresses the quantitative aspects of tourism as a revenue producer.. especially in rural contexts. "Increased emphasis will be upon higher productivity. Its economic importance has led to tourism being given greater emphasis in national policy and planning. In reality tourism is a tertiary activity. and to recognise that it is the natural state of the environment which is itself the tourism asset) rather than to place emphasis on control of negative impacts such as pollution. efficiency and competitiveness. wildlife . imply the turning of raw materials into a finished product through a technological process. The Sixth Plan states that the direct involvement of the local population will be emphasized in the development of tourism. Paragraph 8.. The latter is more a characteristic of conventional mass tourism than of nature-based tourism. II • The Five Year Plans.natural state of many tourist attractions. Malaysia intends that tourism shall be promoted as an industry) contributing to the creation of new sources of growth required for socio-economic development. and this of course has great relevance in the field of ecotourism as a way of achieving truly sustainable development. this training is not yet available. Nevertheless. qualitative improvement) as well as to meet its manpower demand (Le. in viewing tourism as an industry. including the diversification of tourism products. forest reserves.e. all forms of tourism should be orientated on a more sustainable basis. in order to maximise benefits from tourism".e. a service-orientated activity. quantitative provision). and is now competing for second place after manufacturing.28 of the Sixth Malaysia Plan points out the undesirable consequences for tourism of degradation of the environment. and does not touch upon the need for a more environmentally responsible approach as regards nature-based tourism by strengthening the symbiosis between tourism and conservation. Under the Five Year Plans. there are financial allocations for tourism development. The economic philosophy is to emphasize the provision of infrastructure as a means to stimulate activity by the private sector. It would also be appropriate to adopt a pro-active approach to conserving the. There is an urgent need for this kind of training in ecotourism. marine parks.. Training will be crucial for the growth of an efficient and competitive tourism industry (i. i. so that the negative impacts of all tourism are minimised.4 Policy considerations Tourism has occupied third or fourth place in foreign exchange earnings for Malaysia in the past few years.

to ensure that benefits will be reaching the different parties involved in the process. would have a strong participatory character. it assesses progress and may provide supplementary funding where shown to be necessary. to update and replace the State's previous tourism masterplan. The National Tourism Policy. which was just begun at the time of preparation of the Sixth Malaysia Plan. including formal and informal meetings as well as the exchange of written materials. southern and central zones within Sarawak. The National Ecotourism Plan is intended to be consistent with and to complement the Sarawak Masterplan. II The Plan recognises the need for "close collaboration of all levels of government and the private sector to ensure inter-agency and inter-sectoral co-ordination . A Sabah Tourism Master Plan is currently being prepared and is expected to be ready by early 1996. " A Mid Term Review is typically prepared halfway through the implementation of each Five Year Plan.1 sanctuaries and the tropical rain forests. rather than on any associated physical facilities or excessive services which would contribute to the degradation of the environment.30 Policy Considerations ECOTOURlSM Pt. a development concept based on northern. In the field of ecotourism this is particularly important. A wide range of adventure and special interest tours will be made available where tourists can be involved in a myriad of nature-related activities. Close collaboration between the public and private sectors will continue to be fostered in the formulation and implementation of tourism development programmes. The plan sets out strategic directions.. A Second Tourism Masterplan Study for Sarawak was completed in 1993. and promoting unity. creating high multiplier effects and linkages in the economy.". and elaborates on the implementation of an institutional plan. or suchlike body. Tourism is a newly emerging industry. Various . but they implement the national policy through specific plans at new and existing tourism sites. States in Peninsular Malaysia typically do not have tourism policies in any way different from the tourism policy of the country as a whole. It is similar in conception to the Second Tourism Masterplan Study for Sarawak. This section clearly intends that emphasis should be upon the natural attraction. so that a national ecotourism council. and efforts to ensure consistency and complementarity have been made by the two teams.. transport plan and key areas plan. has now been completed and adopted by the Government of Malaysia. marketing plan. "The preservation and protection of the environment against both over-exploitation of natural resources and pollution of the environment will become more important to support the development of tourism. The National Ecotourism Plan has been prepared at the same time as the Sabah Tourism Master Plan.

at plan level the National Biodiversity Plan. golf. There is. As the National Ecotourism Plan has been developed in relation to all the above policies and plans. etc. i. The emphasis upon such areas exists because of their high natural allure. These include at policy level the National Forestry Policy. fostering environmental protection and preservation. these have helped to form a system of protected and managed areas. islands and lakes. Most such developments are in the style of resort tourism. Together. the newly formed National Environment Policy and the National Conservation Strategy. Other links have been strengthened with environmental awareness. enhanced training. In certain cases financial incentives are available. and contribute towards direct involvement of local populations. notably on hill land. and a more integrated approach to environmental conservation. plans and laws. to producing a more distinctive Malaysian tourism image and identity. In this way they can be orientated towards nature-based activities. The existence and the types of policies and financial incentives for tourism development in environmentally sensitive areas therefore merit review. interagency and inter-sectoral co-operation and. and a range of laws such as those reviewed in section #3. they may be high density and involve traditional tourism concepts such as high-rise buildings. . tourism is a component in the Pahang coastal zone management plan and in the South Johor coastal zone management plan. its role should be to provide a more integrated approach to the achievement of specific national objectives. 1 Policy Considerations 31 States have tourism planning components within other. Malaysia gives emphasis to the protection of nature and the natural environment through a variety of policies. The present National Ecotourism Plan can be one of the components needed to build more harmonious links between tourism and nature. more general development plans. however. such as contained in the Five Year Plans and other documents. which are a very important asset for the development of nature-based tourism.e. still to be expanded. Policies have from time to time been promulgated on tourism development in environmentally sensitive areas. and it is therefore important that a substantial proportion of the areas should remain in a relatively undisturbed state. For example. most importantly. It should contribute.ECOTOURISM Pt.. no single policy on the protection of nature and natural areas. within the field of ecotourism. for example.

32 Policy Considerations ECOTOURISM Pt.l .

fisheries. They can participate directly in the operation of chalets. Justification and budgetary issues of ecotourism 5. and by Lindberg (1991). and they often have practical local knowledge which makes them effective nature guides once trained. transport systems. with appropriate administrative training. Ecotourism encourages the economically productive use of land which may be marginal for agriculture. particularly in rural areas where agricultural. Ecotourism diversifies the local economy. and safeguarding water supplies and other environmental services. souvenir and handicraft sales. Local community organizations can act as concessionaires of tourism services. • The local communities living near ecotourism sites typically have incomes that are below the national average.1 Economic impacts of tourism Ecotourism has been identified by the National Tourism Policy study as one of Malaysia's tourism products which requires elaboration. and by injecting capital. hotels. Amongst the benefits are that: • Ecotourism generates local employment. For these people ecotourism can represent a viable economic alternative. Ecotourism stimulates rural economies by creating a demand agricultural produce. The socio-economic benefits of ecotourism have been discussed in detail by Boo (1990). both directly in the tourism sector and in the various support and resource management sectors such as land management and wildlife management. and guide services. enabling larger tracts of land to remain covered in natural vegetation. Ecotourism stimulates improvements to local transport communications infrastructure. . which can become showcases for the country and which can therefore enhance investment. which benefit local people. and other forms of employment may be sporadic or insufficient. restaurants. restaurants. Ecotourism generates foreign exchange. for • • • • • and • Ecotourism promotes the maintenance of parks and reserves. Ecotourism stimulates profitable domestic industries including hotels.5. and they typically have a rather limited range of other economic options.

34 Justification and Budgetary Issues ECOTOURISM Pt.1 Plan Recent Allocations and Revenue for Tourism Allocation (RM million) Mean annual allocation (RM million) 28. however. Local communities provide the cultural basis for ecotourism.1 106. instead of (or as well as) receiving trickle-down benefits from other sectors of the national economy. Table 5. comm. and even up to 50% in Sabah and Sarawak.1). The estimates vary from 7% (the estimated amount of all travel worldwide which is nature and adventure travel: S. Out of the range of incentives. 1 So far as tourism in general is concerned. If the conservative 7% estimate is used to account for numbers and revenue from nature-based tourism. The estimates of the percentage importance of nature-based tourism to Malaysia are only approximate.) to 10-15% (World Travel Organisation worldwide estimate) to 20% (based on similarity with estimates for Thailand). Reed. then the revenue from this specialist tourism sector alone was three to six times the mean annual tourism allocation under the Five Year Plans. whilst others are more appropriate to mass tourism or tourism in urban areas. .8 Mean annual revenue during Plan period (RM million) 2. to village economies. Even if ecotourism were seen as only a minor contributor to the total tourism revenue. some are suited to ecotourism. 20%. the simplest picture can be obtained by a comparison of allocations under the Five Year Plans with the annual revenue from tourism (Table 5. They can benefit from direct cash inputs to the village economy. This alone is more than enough to justify the further development of ecotourism and the allocation of special parks and reserves where nature can be enjoyed by tourists.560. Mountain Travel Sobeck.8 5". it nevertheless has a strong socio-economic justification.9 It is because of such economic advantages that the Malaysian government has provided a range of budgetary incentives for tourism. If.5 533. This is discussed in Part 4 (Current State of Ecotourism in Malaysia).5 Fifth Sixth 140. the amount of tourism based upon nature was as high as it is in Thailand. and amongst the best staff for ecotourism sites.555. This is its potential for contributing to the development of the rural poor. then revenue from nature-based tourism in Malaysia may have contributed anything from nine times to 20 times the mean annual allocation for all forms of tourism. pers.

the Department of Wildlife and National Parks had a total of737 posts. mainly from chalet rental and entrance fees. Selangor. special expenditure on equipment about RM 0. The staff deficit of about 9% of posts unfilled is mainly amongst the lower employment grades. tourism to natural areas is economically important to Malaysia. involvement in national and international conventions and negotiations. but the development expenditure was about 3. The expenditure on development was RM 5. the actual staff strength has fallen by only 9%. The Sabah Wildlife Department has a staff of about 171. In 1994. not only in a near doubling in the number of legal cases in the past ten years.7 million. and less than RM 0. for example at village level at Kampung Kuantan. Sabah. but significant amounts have also flowed to State level projects including the national park Taman Negara and other protected areas. A substantial proportion of this expenditure has been on the development of new headquarters.) by the department has doubled over the past decade. The annual recurrent costs of staff are about RM 4 million.5 million from royalties and licencing. The recurrent expenditure amounted to about 10% of the Sarawak Forestry Department's total recurrent budget. to nearly RM 14 million per annum. and assistance to other Federal and State government agencies. 1 5. It receives an annual government grant of about RM 5 million. or around Kinabalu Park. etc.6 million. In 1992 the recurrent expenditure of the National Parks and Wildlife Office of the Sarawak Forestry Department was RM 3. Sabah Parks. it can still be very important locally. a statutory body. but in the development of research and policy work.8% of the total development budget. and development expenditure has quadrupled over the same period to reach nearly RM 10 million per annum. Development . of which 683 posts were filled. The difference between this income and the department's expenditure is made up by government allocations. Where income is relatively low overall. Recurrent expenditure (emoluments.2 million.2 Justification and Budgetary Issues 35 Justification and budgetary issues of protected and managed areas Clearly. has a staff of about 300. of which 17% was on the development of Wildlife Sanctuaries (not open to tourism) and 83% on National Parks and Nature Reserves (open to tourism). Nevertheless the work of the department has greatly expanded. Although the nominal strength of the department according to the number of approved posts has fallen by 20% since 1986. It currently has an income of about RM 4. and earns about another RM 4 million.ECOTOVRISM Pt. and parks maintenance costs are about RM 1 million per year. and Trust Fund expenditure on Gomantong Caves and Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre about RM 4 million per annum.5 million per annum from Trust Funds. Recurrent expenditure is about RM 3 million. even though the true levels of income and expenditure are hard to assess.

training and education. Perhaps half of this is expenditure upon matters related to tourism.5 to 1. such as parks and reserves.5 million per annum in the recent past. enforcement. 1 expenditure has amounted to about RM 0.36 Justification and Budgetary Issues ECOTOURISM Pt. and other duties. including both recurrent and capital development spending. however. and because many of the economic spin-offs from tourism bring their benefits to other sectors of the national and local economy. because little of the realised revenue is returned directly to the management of protected areas. the rest being for licencing. . Total annual expenditure of the above government agencies amounts to about RM 48 million. These are small expenditures in comparison with the annual revenue from tourism (now around RM 9 billion). or even in comparison with a conservative estimate of7% of tourism revenues attributable to nature-based tourism (around RM 560 million). research. There cannot be a direct comparison between revenue and expenditure in this sector.

for example in their tendency to travel in groups of characteristic size. and contributes to a view of ecotourism as a 'poor' form of tourism which is almost certainly unjustified in terms of both nwnbers and revenue. Although true as far as it goes. and can be expanded. and hence to ensure that each type of tourism is sustained within its proper niche. 1992) recommends the development of 'ancillary' forms of tourism including ecotourism. with an indication of its specific relevance to ecotourism. nor does it define the relationship between ecotourism and other types of tourism.. The Malaysia Tourism Policy study (peat Marwick. page 3: Peat Marwick." (Tourism Product Sectoral Report. 1) Tourism development should be directed at both the international and domestic markets. Interface of ecotourism with Malaysia's tourism policy and national planning strategies 6. Singaporean. and secondly that ecotourism should enhance the natural environment in a positive feedback mechanism (rather than simply minimising impacts).6... 1992). sports tourism). and the degree of specialism in their requirements for nature-based products. have been described in section #4. A correction of the above misconceptions is needed. this misses the points firstly that for ecotourism lack of accessibility may itself be an attraction (and therefore the policy study encourages an undue emphasis upon infrastructure). However. Both international and domestic markets exist. The policy study is also misleading in its advice that the "natural environment requires development policies directed at accessibility. Each is listed below. that minimise adverse environmental impacts . main policy recommendations for product development. other ASEAN and longhaul tourists all appear to have slightly different tastes and requirements. as set out in the Sixth Malaysia Plan. Malaysian. The use of the word 'ancillary' implies a subordinate position for this and other specialised types of tourism (e.g.1 Interface with national tourism policy The relationships of ecotourism with national policy and planning. resource preservation and conservation. the policy study does not define ecotourism. . if Malaysia is to succeed in assigning the right kind of tourism to the right kind of site. The policy study has identified 17. for nature-based tourism and ecotourism products.

waterfalls. Owing to the small scale of many nature-based and ecotourism activities. Domestic tourism demand in this field are currently orientated towards recreational forests. These are typically low expenditure. physical planning criteria. and this requires emphasis on the development. beaches. litter collection. which will refer to much more than the physical planning aspects. 5) A tourism investment scheme that is competitive within the ASEAN region which will attract new international and domestic investment as well as encourage the upgrading and refurbishment of existing facilities should be maintained until planned objectives are achieved. including the need for Environmental Impact Assessments. The development of this field needs emphasis on site management. and the further development of quality services such as information services.38 Interface of Ecotourism with Tourism Policy ECOTOURISM Pt. youth activities such as Rakan Muda and recreational clubs. and some adventure activities. International tourism demand in this field tends at present to reflect more specialised interests. The sites used for ecotourism cannot be manipulated freely. the types of investment that are required somewhat differ from those in . and minimizing impacts. Refer to (1). Guidelines. The National Ecotourism Plan can be part of the process of producing agreed guidelines. For ecotourism. rehabilitation and management of specific sites. The relevance of these zones to the planning and administration of ecotourism areas is somewhat different from their relevance to traditional and mass tourism. 1 2) Tourism development should be permitted only within guidelines established by the Federal government and endorsed by State planning authorities. featuring islands. standards and criteria are of special importance for ecotourism because tourism products in this sector are intended to be low impact. but the six zones can certainly be used as development zones through which tourists are channelled to ecotourism sites. hills and forest. The six zones together cover most of the country. 3) Tourism development should be concentrated within six development zones. short stay activities. picnicking. This recommendation includes various environmental topics. and the development of environmentally sensitive integrated resorts. emphasis on the management and protection of habitats will also be needed. Most existing and proposed ecotourism sites fall comfortably within one of the six zones. and each has a hub. 4) Product development should reflect international and domestic potential demands and their likely economic impacts.

7) The architectural design of tourist accommodation and other visitor facilities should reflect a Malaysian sense of place. site management. . and does not refer to the need for careful planning of all developments and site management related to ecotourism. Smaller scale and lower impact physical facilities are implied. ecotourism products should be consistent with the PATA Code. This recommendation is in line with the need for all forms of tourism to be made more sustainable. 6) The current extended time-frame in the planning process is a deterrent to investment and should be reviewed. with less infrastructure but more investment in manpower training. as cultural artifacts can be a part of itineraries which mayor may not include nature. By their definition. 9) A regulatory framework should be established with the objective of ensuring that the overall development of tourist accommodation and ancillary facilities should comply with product development policy. and in which visual impacts are intended to be low key and in harmony with the surroundings. sites and buildings should be declared as part of the national heritage. 1 Interface of Ecotonrism with Tonrism Policy 39 the field of tourism as a whole. Monitoring and enforcement mechanisms have still to be developed. and in the planning of the relationship between the tourism project and the natural surroundings.ECOTOURlSM Pt. information. in which culture can be an important part of the tourist attraction. This recommendation is consistent with the development of ecotourism products. This recommendation refers to the time required for planning permission for physical facilities. 10) Specific monuments. 8) The PAT A Code for Envirorunentally Responsible Tourism should be adopted and enforced. The National Ecotourism Plan recommends the setting up of intersectoral and participatory mechanisms for regulation. This recommendation has particular relevance to ecotourism.

is the most likely to prove feasible. A classification system which is descriptive. and in which local community involvement is important. ..40 Interface of Ecotourism with Tourism Policy ECOTOURlSM Pt. The recommendation also has relevance to the availability and pricing of suitable books on wildlife and nature. and be placed under strictly controlled operating conditions. 1 11) All forms of tourist accommodation with more than a specific number of saleable beds/rooms (e. 12) Time-sharing or other multiple ownership tourist accommodation developments should be permitted in designated areas only. products and activities. there is scope for attracting some ecotourists for joint holidayscum-purchase of equipment. rather than one which is regulatory or prohibitive. Although most ecotourists already own such equipment before they come. which ranges from luxury hotels in cities to simple camping sites. While in principle the concepts of classification are good. The range of cameras available in Malaysia is quite good. they will in practice be difficult to apply to the full range of tourist accommodation. in which culture can be an important part of the tourist attraction. 14) The range of products and the comparative price attractiveness of Malaysia vis-a-vis other ASEAN shopping destinations such. Handicrafts should clearly reflect indigenous and traditional culture. Salesmen's knowledge about specialised equipment such as that used by ecotourists is also quite low. Those forms of accommodation most relevant to ecotourism will be the most difficult to classify.g. Nevertheless. but does not appear to have specific relevance to ecotourism. there are links. but the range of binoculars. artifacts and other souvenirs should be given priority. This recommendation could apply to some forms of accommodation at or near ecotourism sites. 10) should be subject to a comprehensive classification scheme. telescopes and tape recorders (all items used by ecotourists) is poor. 13) Improvements to the design and promotion of handicrafts. This recommendation has particular relevance to ecotourism. as Bangkok and Singapore should be promoted internationally. This recommendation does not have specific relevance to ecotourism.

is also important in terms of the equitable distribution of benefits and regional economic development. Ecotourism will never be intensive high-density. and other special interest tourism. . nature-based tourism and Malaysia's policies on the protection of nature and the environment have been described in section #5. services. The distribution of this revenue. 17) The general public should be made aware of the important role that tourism will play in the future economic plans of the Federal government and of the opportunities for the private sector. including fly-drive tourism. and having low impacts. There appears to be a general shortage of understanding of the implications of ecotourism and its special characteristics. 16) Federal and State governments should encourage the development of ancillary tourism development opportunities. in helping to fulfill the need for socio-economic development in rural areas. ecotourism.2 Policy and planning in other sectors Ecotourism will never become the predominant type of tourism either in the world or in Malaysia.g. methods of development. guidelines. Part 2 of the National Ecotourism Plan makes specific recommendations about the siting of ecotourism attractions. promoting conservation. is the basis of the present National Ecotourism Plan. Thus the development of ecotourism. but its importance is not only judged by the amount of revenue it generates. cultural and heritage-based tourism. This recommendation. should be consistent with Malaysia'S development policies in general and with tourism policies in particular. specifically promoting ecotourism. particularly small and medium scale enterprises with an emphasis on Bumiputra initiatives for tourism investment. Ecotourism is particularly suited to small and medium scale enterprises in rural areas. meetings and conventions. agrotourism. agrotourism. if carried out well.. involving local communities. but it can be extensive low- . their type. cultural and heritagebased tourism) can be linked appropriately to ecotourism. The general relationship between tourism.ECOTOURISM Pt. 1 Interface of Ecotourism with Tourism Policy 41 15) Additional tourist attractions and recreational facilities should be developed and improved as a basis for making Malaysia a more attractive tourist destination. riverine tourism. This recommendation is as relevant to ecotourism as it is to other forms of tourism. Several of the other forms of ancillary tourism mentioned (e. etc. 6.

Forest Reserves.g. for instance. For example. The most pragmatic alternatives should be chosen in each case. but in practice there are a number of infringements which affect tourism. and includes the theoretically total protection of forest in mountains. The total income from ecotourism may not be high. and which can be used for ecotourism. They include. State land. and can enhance Malaysia's image. so that adding up all the different areas of ecotourism activity will show a substantial and significant economic benefit. and a master plan for recreational forests for the Peninsular Malaysia Forestry Department Headquarters. Some of the agencies involved are developing (or will develop) plans which are complementary to the National Ecotourism Plan. Conflicts have arisen in places with use of the coastline for industry. there will always be many agencies involved in ecotourism development. 1993). The cleanliness of water bodies is another aspect of environmental management in which activities such as logging. Because tourism cuts across sectors.. a National Agrotourism Plan for the Ministry of Agriculture. privately owned land). it may be more practical to maintain a Forest Reserve as a Forest Reserve.. rather than to press unproductively for the establishment of a national park. As tourism becomes an increasingly important source of revenue. This ensured . but careful intersectoral co-ordination may be needed so as to avoid the sensitivity of logging as an issue. The areas used will be of varied status (e. Much tourism has an eco component. The rate of reservation of natural environments for the protection of nature. Danum Valley is a case in which the relevant State Government decided to maintain the area as a Forest Reserve but to change its classification from productive (commercial) to protection forest. the balance of environmental management may shift. scuba diving) can yield a high profit margin. Such agencies would generally like to maintain the current status of the areas under their jurisdiction. There may arise cases in which specific ecotourism developments are contradicted by other forms of development. Ecotourism also serves an important ambassadorial function. and in some cases of reclamation on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. mining and industrialisation may face a potential conflict with the needs of tourism over river quality. as for example in Terengganu. has sometimes been slow. About 4% of Malaysia's land surface is currently protected within categories of land use recognised by the IUCN World Conservation Union list of protected areas (IUCN. agriculture. Ecotourism can act as a tool to promote conservation and the management of natural environments so as to foster sustainable development. but certain types of ecotourism (e.42 Interface of Ecotourism with Tourism Policy ECOTOURISM Pt. The concept of the Permanent Forest Estate involves the maintenance of forest within a system of Forest Reserves. and form a joint committee of agencies to assist the Forestry Department to implement ecotourism there.g. 1 density.

6.14.ECOTOURISM Pt. have low impact upon the environment.3 Relationship between Ecotourism and Environmentally Responsible Tourism There is much more to environmentally responsible tourism than just ecotourism. 1 Interface of Ecotourism with Tourism Policy 43 the continuation of ecotourism in the long term without a change in management authority. as discussed in section # 7. adhere to beach frontage controls and so on. . minimise the clearing of land and slope cutting. All tourism should be environmentally responsible. the saving of energy. have appropriate architecture. and involve proper waste disposal.

1 .44 Interface of Ecotourism with Tourism Policy ECOTOURISM Pt.

not by decree). 11) Manpower training should become a major theme in specialist tourism. as follows: 1) There should be mechanisms for intersectoral participation. 5)The main ecotourism activities and circuits at national level should be identified. 12) Ecotourism should be a tool for environmental education and ecological awareness 13) Specific legal modifications are required. 8) Marketing and promotional strategies should be developed at local. etc. privately owned. should be sustainable and environmentally responsible. 6) The concepts of carrying capacity and limits of acceptable change should be elaborated for each site. 2) There should be encouragement for the establishment of additional natural areas for ecotourism (which contributes to conservation of natural resources on a self-interest basis. and vice versa. for monitoring and evaluation of progress in 10) Environmental and socio-cultural negative impacts should be minimized. 3) There should be a regionalization approach. building on existing institutions and strengths. . compatible with the six tourism regions identified by the Tourism Policy study. Identification of Main Strategies There is a symbiosis such that ecotourism is a way to promote conservation and sustainable development. including methods of self-financing so as to apply tourism revenue directly to protected areas as well as fostering local development. whether governmental. 14) All tourism. national and intemationallevel. There are 14 main strategies within the National Ecotourism Plan.7. not only ecotourism. there should be active involvement of local communities. 7) Appropriate design and construction of physical facilities must be implemented for ecotourism. 4) Imaginative and innovative funding mechanisms should be developed which encourage ecotourism. 9) There should be mechanisms development of ecotourism.

1 Mechanisms for Intersectoral Participation ECOTOURISM Pt. private sector. The secretariat has specific functions which are of such use to members that it is advantageous to belong to the council. government.). calculation of carrying capacity. literature. analysis of impacts. 1 All 37 issues (# 9. and disadvantageous to be outside it. etc.e. the construction of visitor profiles for different nationalities interest groups. wielding moral authority not administrative power. non-governmental organisations and local communities.1 to 9.46 Main Strategies 7. or • • • • • • • In some cases. This can best be done by setting up a mechanism for intersectoral participation. All the main stakeholders in ecotourism should be involved in the mode of its development. and other forms of consultative work.. Functions can include any or all of the following: • • the collection and analysis of statistics on ecotourism. the monitoring and evaluation of performance in the field.. and computer packages. the development of guidelines. the organisation and implementation of training courses. The body would be an advisory one. . A model which has proven to be successful in several countries is a national ecotourism council consisting of members from the government. the fees contributing towards the maintenance of a small permanent secretariat. private sector. etc. Such members typically pay membership fees. for a two or three year term. national ecotourism bodies have a rotating chairmanship between the main classes of members (i. the dissemination of information. access to marketing and promotional opportunities. serving its members and the field of ecotourism as a whole with technical advice and services.37) should be addressed by this main strategy. amongst the various stakeholders. certification of ecotourism products.

incentives. it would be preferable to strengthen or modify an existing one. evaluation. certification standards. an alternative is for the private sector and non-governmental organisations jointly. or other measures of progress could be determined by government agencies with guidance from the National Ecotourism Plan. 1 Main Strategies 47 Rather than set up a new body.ECOTOURISM Pt. etc. c) capacity to charge fees. national and international promotion. and monitoring etc. and conducting operations. the private sector in developing ecotourism products.. local tour operators' associations. etc. and to employ a secretariat staff. there would be equivalent structures at State and local level. some of these functions can possibly be undertaken in Sabah and Sarawak by the Sabah Tourism Council and Sarawak Tourism Board. Ideally. and representatives of local communities. nature associations). State or other locally based tour agents' associations at lower level) to provide such coverage.3. data collection methods. It is therefore recommended that the Eco. town. technical experts. marketing. to set up a Foundation. then be contracted out to a private company or to such a Foundation. In Peninsular Malaysia it may be necessary to rely upon existing networks of associations (e. In practice. certification. giving a thorough coverage of all levels of the country. b) expansion of terms of reference to include monitoring and evaluation functions. Each of the stakeholders in ecotourism has its sectoral role to play: government in providing infrastructure. If it should prove difficult to expand the brief of the Eco. The steps to be taken (not necessarily in this sequence) would include: a) a slight expansion of membership to include more non-governmental representatives (e..and Agro-tourism Implementation Committee in this way. or the private sector or nongovernmental organisations alone. guides' associations. non-governmental organisations in .and Agro-tourism Implementation Committee be taken as the basis for a national ecotourism body.g. Such a body should first devise its methods and procedures. Another possibility is that monitoring. how to measure levels and successes in ecotourism. Further reference to these matters can be found in Action Plan # 10.. and other functions listed above. Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) at national level. A final possibility is that monitoring and evaluation of progress in ecotourism according to the plan could be contracted out to the Pacific Asia Tourism Association (PAT A).g.

Sabah and Sarawak. universities and institutions in training. or a given location will be zoned for the separate uses. structure plans and district plans. training and certification activities. New areas for ecotourism will include a variety of sites.2 Establishment of natural areas for ecotourism If ecotourism is to continue growing and fulfill its potential as an increasingly significant portion of the tourism market in Malaysia (# 8. some of which are not yet exploited. In order to achieve equitable opportunities within the country. The laws differ in Peninsular Malaysia. and management.3). whatever it might be. and incorporation of appropriate topics into the syllabus. Guidelines for tourism sections of any master plans. opinions. local communities getting directly involved pro-actively and obtaining tangible benefits from ecotourism. Ideally it would be good to have . Ways of doing this might include the production of a brochure on Malaysian ecotourism. It could carry out and commission contract work on any of the above. tourist requirements. others for ecotourism. and yet other sites for other forms of tourism. Many areas are described in Part 2 of this report (Ecotourism Potential Site Listings). impacts. 1 monitoring and ensuring the conservation support function. research. and in encouraging co-responsibility for the conduct and impacts of ecotourism. 7. not only will each ecotourism product need to satisfy customer expectations. Either the locations for the different forms of tourism will be separate. expenditure. because clients wish for a sense of isolation. in line with ecotourism guidelines.48 Main Strategies ECOTOURISM Pt. principles of the regionalisation approach should be followed (# 7. in vying to possess ecotourism sites of international repute. specific research on sites. Therefore tourism sites must be clearly distinguished. and other existing sites which can be modified and 'developed' (not necessarily with physical facilities). devising Guidelines for tour operators. remoteness and wilderness experience. Establishment of Planning Horizons). Legal Framework). A main objective of the national body. A spirit of competition should be engendered between the States. but in addition more areas will be needed for ecotourism. would be in trying to convert theoretical into material benefits (and these may be of different nature) for each of the participating sectors. A legal framework already exists whereby each State in Malaysia can reserve land for purposes including ecotourism (# 3. economics. some being developed for mass tourism. It is also very important to bear in mind that provision of infrastructure may actually hinder ecotourism development. origins.

The structure of Sabah Parks (# 3. In this way management and staffing can be more closely linked to visitor pressures. The use of these protected areas should be linked to that of surrounding lands.2) provides a model for this. the Corporation is able to call upon the good offices of Federal and other State agencies for assistance in technical aspects of management.2. with no handing over of rights to Federal authorities).3. catering for different interest groups in areas which are now under the administrative control of varied Federal and State agencies. not merely a site-specific approach.4. The Johor model sets up a Corporation (known as the National Parks (Johor) Corporation). subsisting partly on grants from State funds. partly on income derived from entrance fees. # 21. and tendering of facilities. In practice. .3 Regionalization approach Normally ecotourists (especially foreigners) like to move around from site to site. Another example is the practice of setting up Trust Funds for specific locations. part-financing the needed increases in management. This implies the need for a regional approach.4. Pedis and Terengganu. There should be an hierarchy of ecotourism destinations based upon parks and other protected areas. rising visitor numbers should lead to increased revenue. Fisheries Department. Ecotourism is clearly a diverse field. A strong case can he made for revenue from Parks to flow directly to park management agencies. rather than to central Treasury or State treasuries (Guidelines.and Drainage.1). 7.2 and # 5.ECOTOURlSM Pt. State Forestry Department. as done by the Sabah Wildlife Department for Gomantong and Sepilok. or Department of Irrigation . and enables the State government to reserve areas which may be administered as parks (effectively State parks. but consistency may not he the most pragmatic way of fostering the development of ecotourism.5). Adoption of this model should be encouraged in other Peninsular Malaysian States. 1 ~ainStrategjes 49 consistency in the legal and administrative management of parks. Perak. for example by secondment of staff or by joint enforcement operations with agencies such as the Department of Wildlife and National Parks. Part 3. # 21. Additional mechanisms for transferring funds more directly from tourist activity to specific protected areas and ecotourism destinations are given in Guidelines. Johor has provided an effective model for the establishment and administration of parks (# 3. # 21. seeking different sights and obtaining a more varied experience during their visit. high priority States are Pahang.2. Part 3. partly from accommodation charges inside parks..

beaches. 2 weeks. and facilitate the combination of ecotourism with other forms oftourism (e. Criteria for selection of sites 1) Reasonable geographical s. jet-setters). Size. Such an approach can be based upon major ecosystems such as lowlands. existing/future hotels.pread. or generalists). involving a few large sites and numerous smaller sites which should be pinpointed in the itinerary and tourism circuits.50 Main Strategies ECOTOURISM Pt.opportunities for the development of ecotourism.. Sixteen criteria are listed below. so that large and small sites can be built into varied itineraries in each part of the country 2) 3) . In addition.g. spelunkers. first-timers or repeat visitors.. and islands. en route to other destinations. highlands. coastal areas. between states and within the larger states. and special ecosystems in particular as described above. relate to fields of interest (birdwatchers. territorial seas. middle-income. so that ecotourism remains a dispersed activity and so that tourists of this sector are drawn to many parts of the country. fit in with time available (one week. business/ conventions). for ecotourism zoning an approach more specifically based on the natural environment is needed. Various criteria can be adopted in identifying regional . 1 The six tourism development zones specified by the Malaysia Tourism Policy study (especially the Sabah and Sarawak zones) are generally consistent with the requirements of ecotourism. flights. ecotourism should be in line with the six Tourism Development Zones. divers etc. and existing/future tour operators' location and capabilities. Judicious geographical mixture oflarge and small sites. offer combinations of travel suited to different budgets (backpackers. • • • Where possible. The preparation of ecotourism packages should be based on the six zones in general. one month itineraries). itineraries. or at least follow more natural boundaries and travel routes so as to: • • fit in with typical itineraries of ecotourists.

ECOTOURISM Pt. using local guides. so that numerous wild attractions and activities are available. an ecotourism image must be based on intrinsic natural assets). in general big highways leading to ecotourism sites should not be encouraged. the right infrastructure. a bridge can be made that will support not more than X tonnes weight. build attractions upon existing cultural diversity. Methods of ensuring that a site remains oflimited access include construction specifications. because many ecotourists shy away from the more accessible sites. or a tunnel not more than 4 m wide. parks staff could spend one day per week guiding. apart from their ordinary day-to-day duties. Breadth of attractions offered over the whole range of sites. without losing sight of an overall theme for ecotourism in the country/ state. Clear identification/image of attractions and activities available at each site. complementary and support attractions (see Guidelines. Quality of attraction. forest. because roads are an invitation to squatters and illegal settlement. A mix of some sites easy and some difficult to reach should be attractive. its ecotourism assets (e. each region must have a clear inventory of main ecotourism attractions. and existing roads should be upgraded rather than new ones built. cave. do not make artificial attractions. For example. # 1. inappropriate infrastructure. Even railway impacts may be less than a new highway because settlements are typically confined to stations. linking the site with its surroundings. For example. whether ecotourism is in their opinion a good option. as this is a good way of the management agency finding out what it is that tourists want and a good way of raising the image of the park management authorities in the tourist's eyes.. Availability of human resources at or neat: the site. whether they are interested 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10) 11) . and how ecotourism can help alleviate some of these problems. categorized into flagship. too much infrastructure. making a thorough analysis of the socio-economic situation in region. or low impact roads never more than 6 m wide with road reserves of less than 2 m each side. getting local communities involved from earliest stages of planning. where possible rivers/streams. far apart. no/insufficient infrastructure.g. Do not create false expectations. A small landing strip is sometimes better than making a new road. Maximization of benefits in the vicinity of each site. Lack of/minimization of social disbenefits in the vicinity of each site. park rangers and methods of involvement of these people in ecotourism activities. Part 3. Existing infrastructure. Identify the profile of a site.1). birds. or other existing and less impacting routes should be used. conversion of problems in the relationship with surrounding areas into benefits. 1 4) Main Strategies 51 Degree of accessibility.

Ecotourism should never be the sole economic activity. ecotourism in seasons when other activities are low.g.g. and good marketing and promotion strategy for the product so that income is in accordance with expectations.. create one. and sites for ecotourism development should be selected on the basis of their ability to fulfill these criteria. i. flooding. re-conversion of alienated land (e. agriculture) back into buffer zones and protected areas. mining pools. Security of~ of sites in the long term (now and potential) supported by a strong legal framework. having a business plan with' a proforma giving projected 5-year (or more) planning of income and expenditure... there must be good regional land use planning.. elephants. railings. (c) Moderate Priority.g. They can then be ranked into (a) High Priority new sites. how to sell to ecotourists. local foods). in buffer zone).e. correct signage.g.. and penalties. and cross referencing to master plan / development plan. the right physical facilities (e. ensuring that formalities are fully completed. establishing what are/are not permitted activities in each zone (e. and schemes by which the community can support conservation activities (e..52 Main Strategies ECOTOURISM Pt. tenure of concessions on facilities. types of contractual agreement reached. 1 in participating. ownership. culture. ways to sell products from sustainable harvest from forests. the right sort of visitors suited to the activities available. 13) 14) 15) 16) This is frankly an idealistic list of criteria. (b) High Priority upgrading/rehabilitation of existing sites. etc. trade.). hombills. steps. e. correct information. The seasonal balance of activities must be considered. good sewerage and waste disposal. safe boardwalks. talks to schoolchildren. projecting percentage occupancy of accommodation or number of visitors. Economic and overall feasibility. maintenance).g.g. handicrafts. swiftlets) within the site?). etc. (d) Low or Long-term Priority. with strong enforcement. . but must be integrated within a varied economic landscape of agriculture. is there sufficient neighbouring forest to support the asset (e. Linkage of an area to its surroundinis (is it possible to protect a buffer. mining. 12) General safety and security for visitors: having a central point for information about events (good weather. tendering !bidding mechanisms. the method of return of benefits from site to community and from community to site. access to clinics and hospitals. cost-benefit analysis. first aid facilities.

so that the areas are not entirely dependent upon central government funding. adhering to these limits. Good packages and itineraries. Scenario B: other economic activities are already important (e. and ensuring that each type of tourism has its appropriate place. Such a situation will not be sustainable. Scenario D: a current crisis in existing economic activity leads local villagers to look for other options. Scenario . Guidelines (part 3. unsustainable activities such as logging. . and ecotourism comes in as a new activity in line with regional plans. and greater detail is given in Action Plan # 10.5 Identification and setting of main ecotourism activities and circuits at various levels Ecotourism activities and circuits should be further elaborated at international. will attract a greater variety of special interest groups. 7. fishing. # 21 and # 22) are presented in the National Ecotourism Plan.14. well marketed. with possible spin-offs such as vegetable farming.g. fishing. Further details are given under issue # 9. 7. small traders).6 Carrying Capacity and Limits of Acceptable Change It is crucial that sites should not be degraded to the point where tourism is discouraged. and it is preferable that degradation at any given site should not proceed to the point where ecotourism begins to be replaced by mass tourism.4 Funding mechanisms Innovative funding mechanisms are required for ecotourism areas. 7. national and local/State level.ECOTOURISM Pt.C: ecotourism begins as a sustainable alternative to previous. farming.. below. fruits. zone and smaller unit. assisting in the need for a smooth economic transition. 1 Main Strategies 53 This regionalisation approach may apply in a variety of scenarios: o o o o Scenario A: hardcore poor area where ecotourism is begun as the primary economic activity. and fmd them in ecotourism.15. This will mean setting carrying capacity limits for each area. and help to spread the benefits of ecotourism through the various States. educational opportunities.

with the capacity to monitor and evaluate the development of ecotourism. NGOs.7 Main Strategies ECOTOURISM Pt.10 Minimization of environmental and socio-cultural negative impacts. Good examples of individual unit design exist at Taman Negaraand Tanjung Ara. 7.and Agro-tourism Implementation Committee. Thus Malaysia in promoting ecotourism Will find itself in competition with other East Asian and especially ASEAN countries over marketing methods. although these are packed too closely together to qualify for the criterion of low physical and visual impact at an ecotourism site. . and the infrastructural facilities such as roads. 7. Terengganu. then it is not ecotourism. 1 Appropriate design and construction of physical facilities Physical facilities for ecotourism sites should be low impact.8 Marketing and promotional strategies at local. 7. especially traditional designs. This emphasis can appeal not only to those who have a special interest in nature or culture.54 7. This principle should apply both to on-site physical structures. Based on the ecotourism product development such as recommended within this Plan. above) that this body should be an expanded Eco. physically and visually. but also general tourists who are aware (even vaguely) of the need for development to be sustainable. national and international level It is expected that future tourism development and marketing strategies in the East Asian region as a whole will be orientated towards the natural and cultural features (intrinsic values) of each country. Local styles of architecture.9 Monitoring and evaluation of progress in development of ecotourism There should be one body involving all sectors (government. If this does not happen. marketing strategies should stress a sustainable approach and the conservation of nature. private. so that negative impacts are dealt with by corrective measures engendered from within the ecotourism sector. strategies and opportunities. and involvement of local communities The definition of ecotourism makes it clear that this activity is a nonnative and self-correcting one. It has been suggested (see # 7. local communities). electricity and water supply in the vicinity. should be strongly favoured.1.

Ecotourism actively involves local communities. will mean that such areas perform multiple functions. 7. Detailed recommendations on the legal provisions necessary are given under # 9. becomes not merely good business but also a valuable social service. the use of protected areas and parks for promoting education and awareness amongst. below. local nature societies. as solving the problems of local poverty and manpower availability with a single measure. First. Second. for example. in combination with a strengthening of the certification process to include site guide certification as well as tour guide certification.14 Ecotourism within overall tourism context Ecotourism is a low impact activity. providing interpretative centres. Ecotourists in particular demand high standards of interpretative materials. specialist guidebook writers. . Furthermore. 1 7.12 Environmental education and awareness Education and interpretation are key tools to manage tourists better. tourism writers. the number of highly qualified Malaysian nature guides is very small. hotel staff. Tour operators. the law should be used to facilitate ecotourism. and to bring consistency to the various States. schoolchildren. This is a very positive reason to stress the employment of local people where possible.13 Legal provisions and changes l: Where possible. and existing nature guides. It will be important to capitalise upon the skills of individuals. and actively repairs whatever damage or degradation it may cause.11 Manpower training Main Strategies 55 Manpower availability and training will be an obstacle to the smooth and orderly development of ecotourism. However. brochures. unemployment levels in Malaysia are very low. if these two objectives are in conflict then pragmatic decisions need to be made which will help to conserve the natural environment as the basis for sustainable ecotourism. However.ECOTOURISM Pt.29. 7. government officials. sites with good ecotourism potential are typically located in rural areas where there may be pockets of unemployment and hard core poverty. photographers and publishers are all groups who would find training and information about ecotourism usefuL 7. These are features characteristic of ecotourism. etc. but not necessarily unique.

in April 1995 (Guidelines. local and central government. etc. environmentally friendly tourism than just ecotourism. • • • • • • . prejudice its future enjoyment. These could be based upon the Charter for Sustainable Tourism adopted at Lanzarote. Tourism should be recognised as a positive activity with the potential to benefit the environment and the host community.e. harmony must be sought between the needs of the tourist and of the local community.the operator. methods of waste disposal. so that the environment is sustained in the long term. Tourism activities and development should respect the scale. Its long-term survival and its enjoyment by future generations must not be prejudiced by short-term considerations.56 Main Strategies ECOTOURISM Pt.have a duty to respect the principles of sustainable tourism. or produce unacceptable impacts. low impact technology. All tourism should be environmentally friendly: in terms of minimising waste. Arts and Tourism. Part 3.1). as well as the tourist. environmentally benign) tourism should be adopted by the Ministry of Culture. beach frontage controls. environmental agencies and the tourists themselves . # 16. some change is inevitable and can often be beneficial. The following points should be borne in mind: • The environment has an intrinsic value which outweighs its value as a tourism asset. The relationship between tourism and the environment must be managed. In any location. good architecture. 1 There is much more to sustainable. but adapting to change should not be at the expense of these principles. nature and character of the place in which they are located.. This must not be allowed to damage the resource. Canary Islands. All those involved in tourism at the destination . In a dynamic world. minimised clearing ofland. slope cutting. noise reduction. energy saving. General principles for sustainable (i.

cultural diversity is essential for long-term sustainable tourism. social and cultural environments of destination areas and enhances customer satisfaction. and which undertakes EIAs.ECOTOURlSM Pt. and are as relevant to ecotourism as they are to other forms of tourism: • Use resources sustainably: the conservation and sustainable use of resources. but also improves the quality of the tourism expenence. Supporting local economies: tourism that supports a wide range of local economic activities and which takes environmental costs and values into account. Involving local communities: the full involvement of local communities in the tourism sector not only benefits them and the environment in general. social. improves the quality of the tourism product. management and marketing. Marketing tourism responsibly: marketing that provides the tourist with full and responsible information increases respect for the natural. social and . Training staff: staff training which integrates sustainable tourism into work practices. Consulting stakeholders and the public: consultation between the tourism sector and the local communities. organisations and institutions is essential if they are to work together and resolve potential conflicts of interest. • • • • • • • • . Maintain diversity: maintaining and promoting natural. 1 ~ain Strategjes 57 Specifically. both protects these economies and avoids environmental damage. along with the recruitment of local personnel at all levels. Integrate tourism into planning: tourism development which is integrated into a national and local planning framework. increases the long-term viability oftourism. cultural or financial. whether natural. and creates a resilient base for the industry. Reduce over-consumption and waste: reduction of overconsumption and waste during the development and subsequent operational phases avoids the cost of restoring long-term environmental damage and contributes to the quality of the tourist environment. is crucial and makes long-term business sense. the following guidelines should be followed for tourism development.

Various docunients relevant to these schemes are given in Annexe 6 of Part 6. the industry and consumers. and create an atmosphere in which ecotourism can flourish. Arts and Tourism should encourage all tourism sectors towards sustainable tourism. 1 Undertaking research: on-going research and monitoring by the industry using effective data collection and analysis is essential to help solve problems and to bring benefits to destinations. An Environmental Action Pack for Hotels has been produced by the International Hotels Association. Schemes such as the Green Globe award of the World Travel and Tourism Council. The Ministry of Culture.58 • Main Strategies ECOTOURISM Pt. because reducing environmental impacts will enhance the quality of all tourism products. and the Green Leaf award of PAT A are available for use as tools in developing sustainable tourism. .

1 REGION Asia Oceania America Europe Africa Others TOTAL Projected foreign tourist arrivals (millions).081 0. since 1992 tourism expansion in both tourist numbers and revenue have diverged significantly from these scenarios.078 0.186 0.039 0. Table 8.063 0.254 0.110 2000 15. 1995 9.135 12.240 Source: Ministry of Culture.543 1998 9. Arts and Tourism.202 0.579 2000 11.219 0.7 1258 109. November 1995 .164 0.705 0. Establishment of Planning Horizons 8.524 0. Arts and Tourism. 1995-2000.701 1999 10.190 0.030 0. 1995-2000.3.2 1209 89.7 1238 101.228 0.8.050 0.5 1247 105.279 0.579 0.202 0.054 0. These are shown in Tables 8.Source: Ministry of Culture.936 1996 7.283 0.514 0.134 10.320 1999 14.129 7. required hotel rooms.108 9.2 and 8. The scenarios in the Tourism Policy Study have therefore been superseded.716 0.3 1221 93. and new projections have been adopted by the Ministry of Culture.178 0.146 0.516 0.658 1997 8. Arts and Tourism. and manpower requirements.022 0.367 1998 13. November 1995 Table 8.268 1996 10.501 . 1995 7.4 1230 97.420 0.641 0. of hotels No.465 0. However.2 Year RMbillion No. together with required levels of support services in each case.1 Existing Tourism Growth Scenarios The Malaysia Tourism Policy study established three scenarios concerning possible tourism expansion up to the year 2000.133 0. Particularly noticeable discrepancies have built up with respect to tourist expenditure and contribution to GNP. hotel building investment needs. of rooms Projected tourist expenditure and hotel supply.140 11.1 and 8.468 1997 11.111 8.

at 5%. the percentage of foreign tourists who engage in nature-based tourism will either remain steady at the assumed minimum baseline of 5%. staying at least overnight in protected areas and other ecotourism areas. as an expanding market draws in less committed individuals. from 7. remaining stable thereafter. 10% or 15% as noted above.2 million in 1994 to 12.e.6% 11. 5% of all foreign tourists) and will be about 400. the domestic component will be split roughly equally between tourists (overnighting) and recreationists (day visitors). 1 Percentage average annual growth in estimates of tourist parameters. the number of domestic tourists who engage in nature-based tourism. average number of nights spent in Malaysia by foreign nature-based tourists will decline as shown below.5 million in the year 2000.60 Table 8. (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (vi) . Topic Mean annual change.2. three possible scenarios have been constructed for the future development of ecotourism.2% 0. depending on a variety of factors. and the number seeking recreation at nature areas.2 Scenarios for Ecotourism Expansion Based on the above. 1995-2000 9. beginning from the assumptions that: (i) tourist numbers will rise at 9.1 and 8. will increase at the same rate.000 in 1995.3 Planning Horizons ECOTOURISM Pt.3% Total of foreign tourists Tourist expenditure Number of hotels Number of hotel rooms Source: Calculated from Tables 8. now approximately equal to the number of foreign ecotourists..6% per year. and revenue performance from ecotourism will constitute a steady percentage of total tourism revenue.8% 4. the number of nature-based tourists was at least 360. or increase to 10% or 15% by the year 2000. 8.000 in 1994 (i.

mediwn term (2000. when we have arrived at the scenario). medium term (5 years) and long term (over 15 years). For each of the three Scenarios. steps on the way to achieving the scenario). 10 years after we have reached the scenario. planning horizons have been suggested in the short term (1-2 years). but the visitors to Taman Negara include an increasing percentage of conventional tourists. For example. B and C. regional and local differences is yet possible. while the national average may be that 10% of tourists are ecotourists. and long term (2010. medium and high values have been chosen to illustrate the three scenanos. 1 Planning Horizons 61 These assumptions are broadly conservative. showing what the effects may have been). the percentages in Sabah and Sarawak may be in the vicinity of 50%. numbers could be defmed at national. concerning the nwnbers and percentages of ecotourists in different areas. Figures are needed for the eight main destinations currently promoted by the Malaysia Tourism Promotions Board. Potentially. and for the 30 destinations to be promoted in the near future. regional and local level. These planning horizons illustrate what is to be expected in short term (1997. Further studies are needed by the Malaysia Tourism Promotions Board and by regional tourism authorities. . Nearly all visitors to Gunung Mulu National Park might be considered ecotourists. The three scenarios are termed Scenarios A. except for the main variable (assumption iii) concerning the percentage of foreign ecotourists.ECOTOURISM Pt. No detailed breakdown of these various national. for which relatively low.

28 billion Ecotourists' contribution to GNP Manpower requirements: Nature guides (all types) Dive specialists Caving specialists Bird guides 796 1.500 462.500 312.500 312.000 Long term 2010 18.5 million 625.500 212.5 million 425. 'ecotourist' is used to include all forms of naturebased and culture-based tourism. 1 Scenario A: 12.000 (5%) 525.500 25.500 462.5% of them nature-based or ecotourists Short term 1997 Possible foreign tourist arrivals Possible number of foreign ecotourists* Increment in nos.000 18.5 million foreign tourists by the year 2000.93 billion RMO.734 *For the purposes of this table only. of foreign ecotourists since 1995 Possible number of domestic ecotourists* Possible number of domestic nature recreationists Increment in domestic numbers since 1995 Average nights stay. foreign ecotourists Ecotourists' expenditure 8.000 (5%) 225.000 225.5 million 925.9 16 12 RMO.79 billion RM 1.000 212.000 Medium term 2000 12.62 Planning Horizons ECOTOUR}SM Pt.57 billion RMO.172 1.000 (5%) 25.000 525. .

10% of them nature-based or ecotourists Shorttenn 1997 Possible foreign tourist arrivals Possible number of foreign ecotourists* Increment in nos.5 million 1. 'ecotourist' is used to include all forms of naturebased and culture-based tourism.000 (7.56 billion Ecotourists' contribution to GNP Manpower requirements: Nature guides (all types) Dive specialists Caving specialists Bird guides 1.000 Longtenn 2010 18.57 billion RM2.000 625.469 *For the purposes of this table only.000 (10%) 850.5 million 1.450.850. of foreign ecotourists since 1995 Possible number of domestic ecotourists* Possible number of domestic nature recreationists Increment in numbers since 1995 Average nights stay.000 238.250.9 16 12 RM 1.5 million tourists by the year 2000.000 925.000 319.14 billion RM 1.000 18.5 million 638. .ECOTOURlSM Pt.450.000 1.196 2.85 billion RM 1.000 925.5%) 238.000 (10%) 1.000 319. 1 Planning Horizons 63 Scenario B: 12.000 ·625.000 Medium term 2000 12.000 850. foreign ecotourists Ecotourists' expenditure 8.344 3.

387.71 billion RM2. 1 Scenario C: 12.85 billion Ecotourists' contribution to GNP Manpower requirements Nature guides (all types) Dive specialists Caving specialists Bird guides 1.000 2.000 425.475.875.000 (15%) 2.387.594 3.000 937.79 billion RM2.5 million 2.000 1.500 1.5 million tourists by the year 2000.000 (10%) 450.500 425.5 million 850.64 Planning Horizons ECOTOURISM Pt.000 18.775.36 billion RM3.000 (15%) 1.500 450.375. of foreign ecotourists since 1995 Possible number of domestic ecotourists* Possible number of domestic nature recreationists Increment in all ecotourist numbers since 1995 Average nights stay.515 5. foreign ecotourists Ecotourists' expenditure 8.475.203 *For the purposes of this table only.500 1. 15% of them nature-based or ecotourists Short term 1997 Possible foreign tourist arrivals Possible number offoreign ecotourists* Increment in nos.000 Long term 2010 18. 'ecotourist' is used to include all forms of naturebased and culture-based tourism.9 16 12 RM 1.000 937. .5 million 1.000 Medium term 2000 12.375.

but some components of the pool of qualified guides are already substantial. It should be borne in mind that the range of figures in each scenario does not follow an inevitable pattern. 1 8. e. and thirdly of the guidelines contained in part # of the report. Scenario C is probably unrealistically high. and conventional tourists visiting natural areas. No clear distinction can in fact be made between ecotourists. Instead.1). Accordingly. The number of tourist guides well qualified to lead nature tours has not reached the level suggested (796 such guides by 1997). or a position intermediate between Scenarios A and B. This figure is also a target which is susceptible to change by manipulating ecotourism products and tourist behaviour. Scenario B is considered to be the more realistic estimate. secondly of the strategies and actions within this report. the different components can be manipulated in order to sustain growth or to achieve other desired objectives.g. However. 1992) which impinge upon ecotourism (see #6. a businessman who might include a short trip to Taman Negara in his visit). not a finn prediction.g. Expenditure. Ecotourism areas. active encouragement of longer stays will help to improve the ecotourism development scenarios financially. Arts and Tourism projections. Average nights' stay by foreign ecotourists has been calculated from survey results during this study. firstly of those recommendations within the Malaysia Tourism Policy study (peat Marwick. partial ecotourists (e.3 Planning Horizons 65 Are Estimates Realistic? These projections are contingent upon the proper and orderly implementation. based on numbers of foreign ecotourists. dive guides. Scenario A is probably on the low side.. . expenditure by ecotourists may be hoped to reach about RM1. because expanding ecotourism will draw in less committed individuals. domestic nature-based tourists.57 billion in the year 2000. Number of nature guides: These estimates are based on the handling of 800 tourists per guide per year.ECOTOURISM Pt. and contribution to GNP: calculated as relative proportions of data from the Ministry of Culture. Numbers of foreign nature-based tourists. an estimate derived from discussions with guides. After 1997 a decline in length of stay has been suggested. management and services would be severely strained by some of the numbers suggested. and domestic recreationists at natural areas may already exceed the numbers for 1997 in this scenario.

There may already be more than 200 individuals leading dive tourists. Accompanying this increase. Together. including roads and airstrips. inappropriate and competing forms of tourism. domestic tourism and domestic recreation account for a number of Malaysian visitors similar to the number of foreign visitors at most areas (see Part 4. Ecotourism is suited to particular localities. The implications for development at existing areas are: • each existing nature tourism area is likely to attract larger visitor numbers. and also some models of ecotourism. which can neither be moved nor developed for other. some of the existing areas Will continue through the 'tourism cycle' towards mass tourism. there will be an increase in domestic nature-based tourism. for more amenities such as mains electricity and water. and for more infrastructure such as roads. It is therefore essential to get the right kind of tourism and tourists in the right kind of place: ecotourists at ecotourism sites and mass tourists at mass tourism sites.25 million in the year 2000. there will be pressures for easier access. 8. rising to about 640. such as those recommended in Parts 1 and 2 of this report.4 and # 5. beach tourism.66 Planning Horizons ECOTOURISM Pt. However. incentives.4 Implications for Area Management Scenario B may be acceptable as a working estimate of likely foreign naturebased tourist numbers.5). Achievement of ecotourism targets will require this firm commitment. it is very difficult on present information to give a breakdown of domestic tourism versus domestic recreation at nature areas. • • . there were about 500. chalets.5 million by the year 2000. Thus the number of visitors to nature areas may reach about 2. MICE (meetings. and hotels in and close to nature areas.000 such tourists in 1994. These will be lost to ecotourism. In this scenario. showing a mix of different components in tourism as a whole. Malaysia has a choice of appropriate models for tourism.5% increase per year). The models which are developed in future can include mass tourism. The number of highly qualified caving guides now active is probably under 20. This is a 150% increase in six years (16.000 in 1997 and 1. which is one of the more rapidly expanding fields of nature tourism. conventions and expositions). # 5. and the creation of additional parks. caving guides and birdwatching guides: No breakdown is provided. the numbers being included within the number of nature guides (all types). and some may be developed with activities incompatible with ecotourism. 1 Number of dive guides.

for example. while Medium Industries have more than five employees and less than RM 2. and 29 have less than RM 250. Of the two companies thought to have more than RM 250. 12% in Pulau Pinang and 10% in Kuala Lumpur.108 SMIs in Malaysia. (ii) creating buffer zones. one is a major trading corporation which has a jungle lodge as a minor part of its total operations. destroying the attraction base. The concept of SMIs refers only to manufacturing industry. • • 8. (iv) setting carrying capacity and limits of acceptable change for each area.000 paid-up capital. The sooner such areas can be set aside the better. it is thought that 30 have fewer than 50 employees. Twenty percent were in the Food. and the other is a tour company of which about 20% of business is nature-based/adventure tourism. Out of 31 Malaysian tour companies which specialise more or less in nature tourism. Beverages and Tobacco sector (and 90% of all these concerned food). 18% were in Johor. A few . Of these. very important. Malaysian Railways (KTM).5 million paid-up capital. so that conflicting land uses do not intervene. 16% in Wood and Wood Products. 18% in Selangor. with the remaining 29% scattered through the other nine States. and. Machinery and Equipment. Clothing and Apparel. advertises packages to Taman Negara and other nature areas.5.1 Small and Medium Industries Small and Medium Industries (SMIs) are currently defined by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry according to their number of employees and amount of paid-up capital. finn decisions to zone areas.5 Service Sector Mix and the Role ofSMls 8. currently used areas must be managed with increasing care so as to avoid or minimise impacts on the attraction base. (i) placing facilities such as golf courses and multi-storey hotels outside park boundaries. Small Industries have less than RM 500. 13% in Perak.ECOTOURISM Pt. 1 Planning Horizons 67 The implications for area management are: • more nature areas will be needed. not to the service sector such as tourism.000 paid-up capital. In a 1993-1994 survey.000 paid-up capital. advertising tours to nature destinations. there must be specific. There are a few big companies. and 12% in Textiles. (iii) giving concessions to operate government-owned facilities within parks. 18% in Fabricated Metals. which are in no sense ecotourism companies. there were 12. listed in Part 6.

but appear to lack one or more of the components which would qualify their products as ecotourism under the definition used here.. it would be in line with other recent changes. that such links will always be minor. Beverages and Tobacco manufacture. However. Hilton (Batang Ai). They are: • • the majority of ecotourism businesses. If a link is to made between SMIs and ecotourism. which uses natural plant dyes (e. in a few cases. 1 big companies offer nature holidays. whose manufacturing operations might. be linked to ecotourism businesses. and form just a supplementary form of business so far as the SMls themselves are concerned. could form links with an ecotourism or agrotourism operation to demonstrate its techniques. SMIs. it is possible that the definition of SMls may be expanded to include parts of the service sector. . The development of such links will also require considerable imagination. then three sectors of business must be recognised. and . A Medium Industry in Wood and Wood Products might form part of an ecotour which is organised by another ecotourism company. which are small.. such as the expansion in scope of the Human Resource Development Fund to cover tourism businesses. Virtually the entire field of ecotourism is therefore within the ambit of small companies which are similar to Small Industries in their scale of operations. Taman Negara Resort (Pernas OUE). however. o It seems clear. from the rainforest tour to plantation forestry to wood processing techniques.68 Planning Horizons ECOTOURISM Pt. • Examples of such links could be: o A Small Industry in the field of Food. mangosteen pigments) as food colouring. Although there are no current plans to do this. bigger tourism operators who arrange tours to nature destinations but typically do not fulfill the definition of ecotourism. for example Reliance Sdn Bhd.g. the few. demonstrating one link in the chain of sustainable forest management. they do not qualify as SMIs because they are not in the business of manufacturing. However.

but provide high quality. There is. conservation training.5. • greater flexibility in the conditions of use of private land. Specific areas of ecotourism business for which incentives could be improved are: • • • • local community. access to funds for production guidebooks. bringing in more tourists each. Such incentives for small businesses could be: • • • • security of land tenure. design and construction standards for low impact accommodation in villages. and the involvement oflocal communities. smaller businesses (see Part 5. of better information (maps. 1 8. favoured status during tenders and bidding. This may require specific incentives for existing companies to stay small. They are aimed at encouraging companies to grow larger. if this involves the channeling of significant resources to area management and rehabilitation. The scope for big companies to carry out ecotourism in acceptable ways is rather limited. homestay. conducting zoning and carrying capacity studies. equipment and training. however.). or aimed at. specialist guide training companies or organisations. forest and coastal areas. it will be important to retain the role of small companies. If ecotourism is to be a continuing success. as a branch of their operations. still a place for the dedicated operators of large companies to carry out specialised ecotourism.ECOTOURISM Pt. waste treatment methods. etc.2 Planning Horizons Incentives for Smaller Companies 69 The financial incentives available for encouraging tourism are not specifically designed for. # 4 of this Plan). assistance in information. area management. monopolies or exclusive access to areas. promotional materials and dissemination of • • • .

1 . use of unlicenced guides. ECOTOURISM Pt.70 Planning Horizons Specific areas in which better controls are needed include: • • planning permission for structures.

land adjacent to sites. Private enterprise may build architecturally unsuitable structures within protected areas.1 to 9. in a sequence approximately like that in Figures 1 and 2. The lack of an overall plan also has various effects. and (d) fiscal aspects. There are various identified causes of this situation. . 9. (b) management of the processes and operations.12 to 9.1 Conditions for tenure of ecotourism sites not formulated Examples: There may be a subsidy of businesses which are basically uneconomic. A comparison between Figure 1 and Figure 2 should help to identify the steps required to move from the existing situation to the desired situation. Figure 2 sets out the objectives to be achieved by the plan. The distinction between causes and effects is often arbitrary.. and issues 9.37 represent effects identified in Figure 1.9. Figure 1 identifies the lack of a single plan as the central issue around which the analysis is focused. E.g. in which each cause and each effect is addressed so as to result in a more desirable situation. (c) human aspects. Desired situation: Conditions for tenure of ecotourism sites formulated. which can be grouped under the themes of (a) site management. and require additional land as business expands. These required steps are described below.11 represent causes. and land grants. with consequent damage to the tourist attraction. the coral reefs for diving and jungle for trekking. because there are complicated interactions between them. but at this stage without further analysing which is a causative factor and which is a consequential effect. issues 9. Identification of main issues This section is based upon diagrams resulting from a Logical Framework Analysis. Broadly. resorts on Pulau Layang-layang and Pulau Perhentian are paying nothing for use of resources beyond their property boundaries but which are being used. by giving the "free" use of land for development.

1 - S3:snv:J .72 Main Issues ECOTOURISM Pt.

ECOTOURISM Pt.) . 1 Main Issues 73 sssn V.

S. • • • . others privately run in buffer zones). There may be insufficient capability within any given sector to assess the suitability of a proposed development within a given site. # 10. own and run property within an ecotourism site/protected area. The list would include the following: • All buildings and other facilities to be placed outside an ecotourism site/protected area..2 Short-term planning for ecotourism activities. (b) There should be a procedure and method for deciding in each case which is the best option. some facilities owned by government within ecotourism sites.7 and # 10. leading to: Need for canyin~ capacity limits not ap_preciated. Government agency to build as well as run facilities in an ecotourism site/protected area. THEREFORE implement Action Plans # 10. and lease them out to operators for running. Government agency to build facilities within an ecotourism site/protected area. rather than limiting the choice as a point of principle. type or location of activities carried out. Options may be ranked from most preferred to least preferred.2. and run by the private sector.Operators be allowed to build.74 Main Issues Measures for achievement: a) ECOTOURISM Pt. . resulting in inappropriate forms of tourism within ecotourism sites. enforcement of certification of guides in remote locations. room numbers. probably in the sequence listed above.leading to: Methodology for assessing site carrying capacity poorly developed Examples: There may be little or no control of (or planned maximum) visitor numbers. There should be a mixed strategy (e.g. 1 There should be a listing of the models available for site tenure. 9.

leading to: Need for carrying capacity limits appreciated. without an understanding of the environmental impacts of visitor numbers and behaviour upon the resource which supports the business. Carrying capacity methodology should be further developed resource management agency. by each The site management agency (e. These should refer to (a) overall carrying capacity of the area. and Methodology for assessing site carrying capacity well developed Measures for achievement: Regional planning should always precede site-specific ecotourism planning. Current. construction. etc. etc. Site carrying capacity methodology may be undeveloped. tour operators and guides should all be involved in the elaboration of carrying capacity studies at each site. with consultation between them. Sabah Parks. or insufficiently applied. (b) carrying capacity of differential-use zones within the area.ECOTOURISM Pt. Department of Wildlife and National Parks. local communities. Each protected area. 1 Main Issues 75 Tourism may be conducted solely as a business enterprise. and wherever possible other ecotourism areas.g. consultants. Desired situation: Long-term planning for ecotourism activities.). should have carrying capacity limits specified. and ideally (c) the carrying capacity of specific trails and facilities in each zone. . Fisheries Dept. completed examples of carrying capacity studies should be distributed and used as models. Forestry Department. and both should precede the approval of land titles.

etc.3 Ecotourists' expectations poorly understood Examples: There often exists a lack of understanding of what ecotourism is: few individuals in any sector differentiate between types of tourism. Desired situation: Ecotourist expectations better understood Measures for achievement: Methods for monitoring and analysing ecotourists' opmions. hiding the basic lack of sustainability. air conditioning and western foodstuffs. Environmental impacts of planning based solely on visitor numbers and expenditure may be buffered by the fact that as sites are degraded. Ecotourism sites may be developed according to the perception that their demands are similar to demands of mass tourists. caves. inappropriate to the site. including a specific component on . the tourist decline (amongst those who are put off) is offset by influx of other types of tourist (resort tourism and recreation). and form of training have still to be elaborated in the National Ecotourism Plan. Different methodologies will be required that take account of: • • • • Habitat. identity of trainers. forest. 9. though not on a regular basis. coral reefs. etc. Surveys should be carried out overseas and amongst special interest groups. needs and comments are required. Site ownership. 1 The role. by overseas offices and agents of the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board. Existing ease of access. basing plans upon the concept that more people bring in more money and are therefore better. e.4 and # 10.g.3. User needs THEREFORE implement Action Plans # 10. for better road access. They should construct market profiles. # 10. Some surveys have been carried out at protected areas by the area management authorities.7.76 Main Issues ECOTOURlSM Pt.

number of visitors at many sites. requirements.1) should spread such knowledge amongst the various stakeholders including local residents near ecotourism sites.3 and # 10. etc. interests. Successful ecotour operators in Malaysia are a rich source of information about the requirements of ecotourists. changes in perceptions of Malaysia! state/site as result of visit. 1 Main Issues 77 nature and ecotourism demand. and the Ecotourism Institute of Thailand should be utilised for their expertise in ecotourism requirements. visitor satisfaction amongst ecotourists are all poorly understood. and number of people for each). National versus state level analysis may pose problems. 9. A national body (# 7.4 Inadequate procedures for acquiring accurate statistics. for use in developing tourism products adapted to ecotourist needs.ECOTOURISM Pt. how many sites visited per person. average length of stay compared with general tourists. Immigration Department collecting tourism data. Overseas ecotourism organisations such as The Ecotourism Society (USA). They should be brought into dialogues specifically to describe such requirements. the Ecotourism Association of Australia. THEREFORE implement Action Plans # 10. officials may not accept responsibility for The true expenditure. reasons for choice of country/state/site. and availability of information. . leading to: Inadequate tourist and nature-based tourist statistics Examples: Procedure for acquiring tourismlecotourism statistics may be inadequate in distinguishing travel to the three regions of Malaysia.14. special interests (type. distinguishing ecotourists from adventure and sports tourists.

78 Desired situation: Main Issues ECOTOURISM Pt. or Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board. . Further data are needed on the domestic tourism market. complaints.g. e. Sample questionnaires are given in Part 6 of this report. who may also take a few days' holiday and visit sites for a day or half a day. it can be achieved by observation and counting by the staff of other government agencies standing at airport immigration desks. especially foreign visitors. records of things they liked. Additional questions. those attending conferences. etc. An effort could be made to assess the significance of nature destinations amongst non-tourist visitors to Malaysia. may be required. should be compiled on a continuing basis. THEREFORE implement Action Plan # 10.. on a continuing basis. statistics at Recreational Forests. business persons. and of departing visitors in airports. 1 Procedure for acquiring tourist statistics in place. and buses. Arts and Tourism. etc. and will probably require a strengthening of the existing efforts by institutions of higher learning and research. places visited. These may be collected at such sites.. Data from tour companies (and specifically from those dealing with visits to ecotourism sites) on visitor numbers. If this cannot be done from immigration statistics. leading to: Improved tourist and nature-based tourist statistics Measures for achievement: Methods of determining the number and characteristics of visitors. travelling onwards from Peninsular Malaysia through to Sabah and Sarawak need to be strengthened. suggestions. and more refined versions. origins. Surveys of tourists and ecotourists need to be conducted in parks.14. and at previously unrecorded sites for camping. may be developed with experience. Contractual work for the Ministry of Culture.

with the sequence of necessary and recommended steps. owing to management complications. Wildlife Reserves.5 Main Issues 79 Government authority dispersed and unclear.). Forest Reserves. etc. Tourism projects may proceed without proper guidelines because of multiple agency responsibility. Desired situation: Goverment authority made concentrated and clear. Meanwhile. Many activities being carried out at State level may not be accompanied by the necessary information flow to Federal marketing and promotional agecies. indicating what to do in each circumstance. . Confusing and conflicting publicity may be issued about sites such as Endau Rompin. 1 9. Lists of sites for ecotourism compiled by one agency may conflict with lists from another agency. and become tangled in delays. and (b) government owned reserve (parks.21 for suggested procedures. see # 9. Procedure will differ with the status ofland.rnples: Prospective operators of tour/ecotour businesses and facilities may approach an inappropriate agency. leading to: Inter-agency integration improved Measures for achievement: A guidebook should be available for prospective and existing tour operators and tourism project developers. various sites on such lists may already have been developed inappropriately by the private or public sector.ECOTOURISM Pt. (a) Stateland or privately owned land. The crucial role of District Officers in planning approvals and in giving assistance to small enterprise may not be recognised by the tourism sector. Marine Parks. leading to: Inter-agency integration inadequate Exa.

29 below.6 National objectives ofecotourism unclear Examples: There may be a lack of development and management plans for areas used for ecotourism. # 10. and # 9.20) should be included within this guidebook.80 Main Issues ECOTOURISM Pt.5.8. Private sector may begin site development without clear understanding of Federal or State objectives for the site. Federal agencies especially the Fisheries Department. and few enforcement mechanisms to implement them. See # 7. and Federal agencies. It should be regarded as a significant portion of the overall tourism sector. . and others should be facilitated through the good offices of a national monitoring body (see # 7.2 above. and the proposed island development board under the Ministry of Rousing and Local Government. Desired situation: National objectives of ecotourism clear Measures for achievement: The adoption of a National Ecotourism Plan should help to clarify the relative importance accorded to ecotourism. the code of conduct (# 9. to be carried out on a widespread low impact basis. State Parks authorities have been determined as a method of encouraging the establishment of ecotourism sites. District Offices. Similarly.7 and # 10.1). Pulau Layang-layang. on adjacent islands and mainland. Clear lines of authority should be established between such State agencies. which is to be distinguished clearly from other types of tourism in its needs. Information flow between ministries. 9. clarity of procedure should be established in dealing with tourism proposals within Marine Parks. or Tasik Kenyir. with respect to State agencies. departments. District Offices. such as Gunung Stong. 1 To aid other objectives. District Offices. as well as being available separately. THEREFORE implement Action Plans # 10.

7 Criteria for assessing proposals and proposers inadequate or non-existent Examples: Tourism developments may get under way prior to the establishment and implementation of the legal and administrative framework: e. disseminating information. final version of the National Ecotourism Plan.2. . it will continue to be the dominant form of tourism in specific locations. and through finn implementation of approval procedures and monitoring. The importance of adhering to the principles and guidelines for ecotourism should be emphasised to the private sector through publicity. Architecture may be inappropriate to the site. This supplement should wherever possible benefit local communities and the site concerned. Ecotourism sites exist primarily for conservation and resource management. and be capable of bringing specific benefits to its practitioners and to the natural environment.. and ecotourism is typically a supplement.1 and # 10. Desired situation: Criteria for assessing proposals/proposers in place and operating Measures for achievement: Criteria for project approval should be presented in full in the. THEREFORE implement Action Plans # 10. building of chalets within a Forest Reserve without proper legal status. 1 Main Issues 81 Whilst ecotourism will never form the majority part of tourism. Tourism project proponent may have no experience in ecotourism.ECOTOURISM Pt.g.21 (below). not the main justification for such sites. 9. They should be linked to the approval process which at present is discussed under # 9.

An advisory role would be played by bodies such as the proposed State Design Advisory Committees (peat Marwick. # 22). any relevant NGDs (wildlife. An individual would complete a proforma checklist according to the criteria. and by authorities at State level (e.82 Main Issues ECOTDURISM Pt. the proforma may be designed during the fmal version of the National Ecotourism Plan. Amongst criteria which could be employed are: Proposals: .). . does proposal fit in with this plan. Part 3. Cross-reference should be made to the guidelines for assessing tenders and bids (Guidelines. ecotourism. but general level of respectability)? THEREFORE implement Action Plan # 10. and whatever monitoring body may be set up for implementation of the National Ecotourism Plan.Existence ofa business plan? Proposers: .Is it ecotourism or mass tourism? .Is he/she intending to stay in the ecotourism business. is there an existing management plan. 1 The criteria which are developed should be adopted by the Ministry of Culture.Increase tourist numbers/revenue? -Will enhance tourist satisfaction? (geared to results of tourist statistics/surveys) . etc. 1992).Available manpower? .Environmental impacts (linked to carrying capacity studies). Ministry of Tourism in Sarawak.g. Arts and Tourism as the licencing authority for tourism businesses under the Tourism Industry Act 1992. Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Development in Sabah. map of existing vegetation? .Consistent with Town & Country Planning Department plans? . or use it as a land scam? .Does he know enough about nature? .Past experience record in tourismlecotourism (important.. and by State Planning Committees in Peninsular Malaysia.Human resource development plan? .8.General health and safety measures? .Proposal accompanied by contour map. but do not prohibit fresh blood)? .Economic viability and business plan? .Enhancement of national/state image? .Past record in any other business (not to prohibit fresh blood. and with existing/planned infrastructure? .


Main Issues


Land use decisions made on inadequate foundation Examples: Land applications may conflict with development and management plans, or be made in the absence of such plans. Tourism facilities may be unreasonably crowded into a small area, creating negative impacts upon the natural attraction. Land applications may not take into account traditional use by local communities, or may not consider social impacts of the influx of tourists. Desired situation: Land use decisions made on adequate foundation Measures for achievement: All Proposed Forest Reserves, Parks, etc. must be gazetted as soon as possible, if opportunities for ecotourism are not to be missed. Government should re-examine the concept of giving incentives to maintain forest on privately owned land or leased Sateland used for tourism purposes (e.g., taxbreaks; freehold instead of merely leasehold, exemption from service tax, no/minimal land rent). This would typically be a State level decision, but could be encouraged by Federal leads. Such concepts should be incorporated into the framework of fiscal measures for ecotourism (see # 9.34). The concept of plantation forestry on private land should be fostered, including the use of such plantations for ecotourism and agrotourism. There should be a Master Plan for land use for forested areas throughout the country, incorporating zoning for existing and potential tourism as well as recreation. This should draw upon elements from the 5 year Management and Development Plans prepared by each State Forestry Department, which address tourism to a limited extent. Structure and Local Plans should be formally adopted and gazetted quickly, so as to be enforceable.


Main Issues


Contour maps, vegetation maps, hydrological information, and discussion of compatibility with surrounding land use and the surrounding socioeconomic situation are matters which should routinely be consulted in decision-making on land use proposals for tourism and ecotourism (see # 8.21). Decisions need to refer to social, economic and environmental benefits and costs in relation to the whole community, not just the tourism or ecotourism operation itself. There should be opportunities for capacity building in Land Offices, State Planning Committees, and Town & Country Planning Department offices, including the use of workshops and seminars on tourism and ecotourism requirements. The material on activities suitable for private sector involvement (# 8.21, and Guidelines # 21 are relevant to land use decisions including the lease! privatisation/ ownership of property in parks, etc. THEREFORE implement Action Plans # 10.3, # 10.7, # 10.9 and # 10.10.


Shortage of controls for ecotourism activities Examples: There may be little or no control of (or planned maximum) visitor numbers, room numbers, type or location of activities carried out, and enforcement of certification of guides in remote locations. The public sector may lack the resources to assess the suitability of a proposed ecotourism or tourism development. There may be a "get-rich-quick" attitude amongst developers, treating the environment as an ordinary business, with little understanding of the processes and requirements for management. Desired situation: Adequate controls for ecotourism activities Measures for achievement: Measures described below under # 9.25, 9.26, 9.29 are relevant and should be implemented in the longer term, Where feasible, material from Guidelines, or a written commitment to adhere to specified Guidelines,


Main Issues


should be incorporated into contracts and agreements relating to the use of land by the private sector for tourism and ecotourism. In the immediate term, wherever ecotourism projects are under way or soon to commence, and where controls on activities, extent and location of facilities, etc. seem inadequate to minimise adverse effects, the relevant government agencies should review the projects and as far as possible ensure that guidelines contained in this Plan are followed.

THEREFORE implement Action Plans # 10.4, # 10.5, # 10.7 and # 10.11.'


General perception of ecotourism as a poor kind of tourism Examples: Potential of backpacking. high-budget There is also ecotourism may not be realised if equated with low-budget Low-budget tourists tend to spend longer out of town than tourists, and inject money directly into the rural economy. a niche for high-budget ecotourists.

Ecotourism as a field may be neglected through ignoring the cumulative importance oflow impact dispersed tourism. The various types of tourism may be insufficiently distinguished, turning each site into a mass tourism site or recreational site. Desired situation: Potential of ecotourism to contribute to spreading benefits and environmental impacts, and to supporting environmental conservation, realised in government policy Measures for achievement: The measures to achieve this desired situation are similar to those for # 9.6 (above). When the perception of ecotourism as an important activity, and sometimes the predominant economic activity in specific localities, is


Main Issues


recognised, then the national objectives of ecotourism will become clear. The reverse is also true. THEREFORE implement Action Plans # 10.1, # 10.2 and # 10.14.


Shortage of good information for ecotourists Examples: Maps are frequently not available. Checklists of birds, plants, fishes, etc. found in the given area may seldom be available for purchase. Foreign Independent Travellers may face difficulty in acquiring information about access, permits, and public transport to parks. Desired situation: Adequate information for ecotourists provided Measures for achievement: The current policy which restricts the availability of maps useful in rural areas must be reviewed. Up-to-date maps showing rivers, topography, rural roads, location and boundaries of protected areas, etc., are urgently needed. A rolling fund should be-established for the preparation and sponsorship of books, checklists, etc. The fund may be established and funds disbursed by a central co-ordinator (e.g., the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism, Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board). Corporate sponsorship may be sought to raise funds for specific products. Design and preparation of material suitable for publication may be contracted to non-governmental organisations, and design of interpretation displays to companies (e.g., environmental consultants, in co-operation with the resource management agencies). The fund could be the same one as that proposed for supporting the production of material for interpretation centres (see # 8.20, below). Specific information materials of high accuracy will be needed to cater for the target audiences of promotions and marketing of specialist themes (see # 8.14: e.g., palms, begonias, longhouse cultures, archaeology), for which the commissioning of specialist writers would be necessary.


Main Issues


The accuracy and usefulness of existing materials should be reviewed in consultation with tour operators, and by consultation with tourists (e.g., using survey techniques at ecotourism sites to discover if they found the information provided to be sufficient, useful or easy to obtain). A better mechanism should be found for such consultation than exists now. Park management authorities should be enabled to use tourist revenues directly for publication or re-publication of brochures, maps and other materials, to avoid situations in which stocks are exhausted whilst budget allocations for future years are considered. Operators of tourist facilities in or adjacent to parks may enter into partnership with parks management 'authorities in producing booklets, etc., for sale, and have profit-sharing agreements. THEREFORE implement Action Plan # 10.17.

Site Management:


Few or no benefits to conservation from ecotourism Examples: Introduction of tourism into an established protected area may not be accompanied by revenue sufficient to manage the resulting environmental and social impacts. Fiscal measures may encourage infrastructural development in the more sensitive of areas. Desired situation: Synergy of mutual benefits between ecotourism and conservation Measures for achievement: Decision makers should be guided by established criteria for assessing tourism proposals (see # 9.7 criteria, 9.21 process) and reject proposals


Main Issues


which provide only money benefits at the expense of environmental degradation or loss of biological diversity. Proposals which indicate social and economic returns to the area and local community should be favoured. The fiscal framework of ecotourism needs to be reviewed (see # 8.34), with special attention given to methods of enhancing revenue capture at sites (e.g., visitor fees, fees to concessionaires operating at sites, etc.), and means to return revenue for the purpose of improved site protection and management. State government authorities should be supplied with information about areas with ecotourism potential which are currently under threat from less sustainable forms of use (e.g., logging or agricultural expansion on hill slopes). State authorities under pressures to exploit natural resources in specific, known environmentally sensitive areas should be encouraged by tourism authorities to look at ecotourism as a potential alternative. THEREFORE and # 10.19. implement Action Plans # 10.9, # 10.10, # 10.12, # 10.13, # 10.15


Carrying CapacitylLimits of Acceptable Change (CCILAC) exceeded at identified sites Examples: Little or no control of visitor numbers, room numbers, activities carried out, may lead to inappropriate physical facilities, infrastructure, and degradation of site that results in a decline in tourist satisfaction, and in revenue and sustainability . Worn and eroded tracks may become dangerous. Wildlife may be stressed, leading to changes in behaviour and reduced breeding. Copycat operators may exceed the limits imposed by carrying capacity, through lacking expertise in how to avoid damage, and lacking incentives to avoid damage. Visitor numbers may increase exponentially, with little planning for ceilings and how to attain them.

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