Academic journal article Borneo Research Bulletin

Community-Based Transboundary Ecotourism in the Heart of Borneo: A Case Study of the Kelabit Highlands of Malaysia and the Kerayan Highlands of Indonesia, 2009

Academic journal article Borneo Research Bulletin

Community-Based Transboundary Ecotourism in the Heart of Borneo: A Case Study of the Kelabit Highlands of Malaysia and the Kerayan Highlands of Indonesia, 2009

Article excerpt

Journal of Ecotourism, 8(2): 193-213.

This article examines the current state of community-based transboundary ecotourism in the Kelabit Highlands of Sarawak, Malaysia, and the Kerayan Highlands of Kalimantan, Indonesia, areas included within the international "Heart of Borneo" conservation initiative. Ecotourism development is an important element of the Heart of Borneo initiative, which aims to simultaneously promote conservation and sustainable development by linking protected areas with low-impact use zones in a variety of ecosystem types. There is strong local, governmental, and international support for ecotourism development here, as well as an awareness of the possible pitfalls of expanding ecotourism in this region. Research for this case study was conducted primarily in the Kelabit Highlands of Sarawak, and it included interviews with local actors in ecotourism (local guides and homestay owners, as well as urban-based tour operators and tourism promotion centers and agencies), participation in inter-community dialogues regarding transboundary ecotourism, as well as the analysis of promotional materials on ecotourism in these areas, comments in the visitors' books of lodges, and tourists' websites and travel blogs. This case study represents a stage of introspection by people actively engaged in current ecotourism activities and seeks to chart a course forward that takes into account the specific ecological, social, cultural, and political context of this region. …

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