Dr. Junaida Lee Abdullah
Policy, Planning and International Affairs Division
Ministry of Tourism Malaysia
3 November, 2006

Performance and Targets of Tourism Industry


Tourism Performance
In 2004
15.7 million foreign tourists
RM29.65 billion (USD7.8 billion)
Per capita Expenditure – RM1,888.2 (USD496.9)
Average length of stay – 6 nights
In 2005
16.4 million foreign tourists
RM31.9 billion (USD8.62 billion)
Per Capita Expenditure – RM2,134(USD561.6)
Average length of stay – 7.2 nights

Malaysia is one of the World’s Twelve Mega Diversity Countries

Malaysia’s Marine & Coastal Habitats
Home to > 4,000 species of marine fishes; 4 species of marine turtles nest on our beaches;
Habitats include mangrove forests, sea grass beds, coral reefs, mud flats and sandy beaches

Malaysia’s Terrestrial Species
Mammals - 286 species, 27 endemic
Birds - 736 species, 9 endemic
Reptiles - 268 species, 68 endemic
Amphibians - 158 species, 57 endemic
Malaysia’s Freshwater Habitats
449 species of freshwater fishes;
Approximately 2 million hectares of peat swamp - home to the Sumatran rhino, Storm’s stock and Proboscis monkey, among others

National Eco-Tourism Plan
A comprehensive plan adopted by the Government of Malaysia to assist the Federal and State Governments in the development of the eco-tourism potential.
It serves as an:
An appropriate instrument within the overall sustainable development of Malaysia and the economy as a whole
an effective tool for the conservation of the natural and cultural heritage of the country
Definition of Eco-Tourism
‘Environmentally responsible travel and visitation to relatively undisturbed natural areas, in order to enjoy and appreciate nature (and any accompanying cultural features, both past and present), that promotes conservation, has low visitor impact, and provides for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local populations’

Implementing the Plan
The implementation of the Plan is set out in the 3 main interactive co1313mponents:-
a) Action Plans ,
b) Site Proposals and;
c) Guidelines.
All three are equally important and each is meant to be implemented with specific refence to the other two.

Site Listing
Identifies 10 very special places for ecotourism which have superb natural assets and present opportunities for local participation
10 Very Special Places for Eco-tourism
Wang Kelian, Perlis – Limestone, caves & forest
Ulu Muda, Kedah – Forest, lake and sandstone
Belum/Temenggor, Perak – Wildlife, forest and lake
Pulau Kukup, Johor – Mangroves, wildlife, seafood
Tasik Bera, Pahang – Lake, culture, fish
10 Very Special Places for Eco-tourism (contd…)
Kenong Rimba Park, Pahang – Elephants, caves, streams
Kenyir Catchment, Terengganu – Lake, boating, trekking, fishing
Gunung Stong, Kelantan – Mountain, waterfall, rockfaces
Lower Kinabatangan River, Sabah – Probocis monkeys, river, wildlife
Hose Mountains, Sarawak – Forest, Trekking, Birdwatching
Ecotourism Development
Eight Malaysia Plan (2001-2005)
RM14.2 million (USD3.8 million) spent on 20 projects

Ninth Malaysia Plan (2006-2010)
Approved budget of RM260.6 million (USD70.4 million) for 73 projects
Ecotourism Projects Implemented Under Eighth Malaysian Plan (2001-2005)

Wang Kelian Park, Perlis
Gua Kelam, Perlis
Gunong Jerai Park, Kedah
Belum Forest, Perak
Development of Nature Park, Kuala Selangor
Development of Firefly Centre, Selangor
Kuala Tahan, National Park, Pahang
Endau Rompin, Pahang
Taman Negara, Gunung Ledang, Muar, Johor
Ecotourism Projects Implemented Under Eighth Malaysian Plan (2001-2005) …contd.
Development in Kukup, Johore
Pulau Besar & Pulau Sibu, Johore
Tasik Kenyir, Terengganu
Wildlife Sanctuary, Kinabatangan Sabah
Kinabalu Park, Sabah
Poring, Sabah
Mulu National Park, Sarawak
Niah Caves, Sarawak


To increase awareness on eco-tourism products that has potential for promotion in international market areas
To assist in developing eco-tourism packages jointly with tour operators and other relevant agencies
To increase foreign tourist arrivals through the promotion of eco-tourism products
Types of Eco-tourism Products
Rock climbing (Gua Musang, Kelantan)
Jungle Trekking (Mount Tahan, Mount Kinabalu)
White water rafting (Kiulu, Padas, Sabah)
Wildlife Sanctuary (Elephant Sanctuary Kuala Gandah)
National Park (Taman Negara)
Homestay and Agro-Tourism (Banghuris, Selangor & Pelegong in Negeri Sembilan)

Developing Eco-tourism
in the IMT-GT and BIMP-EAGA regions

IMT-GT Area: Jewel of the Region
Sabong & Nias Islands, Levser National Park, Danau Lake Toba areas in Sumatra
Langkawi Islands & various national parks, marine parks in Kedah, Perlis, Perak and Gardens in Penang

The Southern Thailand area especially Tarutas Marine Park & the Songkhla area
BIMP-EAGA Region: Heart of Borneo
Initiative to conserve 220,000 sq. km of rainforest in central Borneo
A conservation zone linking protected areas and sustainably-managed forests in Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Kalimantan

Challenges & Concerns
Conservation of environment and development of eco-tourism
Illegal logging
Low Product Knowledge
Still very low among local tour operators and tourist guides
Inadequate nature guides
Programme Sustainability
Issues of maintenance, efforts to update, redesigned & package it to suit changing needs
Seasonal issues: Haze, Birdflu
Uncontrolled and excessive development resulting in overcrowding
Insufficient or inadequate tourism infrastructure & amenities support resulting in pollution and degradation of ecotourism sites
Development of eco-tourism not properly planned according to the carrying capacity of the site
The benefits of eco-tourism development not reaching the local communities
Ecotourism sites poorly managed due to a lack of allocation for maintenance, inadequate manpower as well as expertise in the management of ecotourism products/activities
Approval of development projects by state governments and local authorities often contradicts the principles of sustainable development and do not considers ecotourism development as a viable option & better alternative

Future Prospects
Outlook is very good
Vast potential of the ecotourism industry in the Asia Pacific region
To further enhance the growth of eco-tourism industry there should be further collaborations between the private sectors and the public sectors in their countries concerned.

Key factors
New product development
Enhance marketing strategy
Establish target markets & specialised market groups who are interested in birding, caving, diving, plant enthusiasts,etc.
Publicity through print & electronic media including website
Provide accurate information provided by specialists
Organise familiarization tour for travel agents, media & specialised group
Jointly participate in ecotourism travel fair in selected markets