Nature-based tourism is an important part of the global tourism industry, and its components and features vary considerably from one destination to another. In Malaysia, location, quality and quantity of natural resources, and their infrastructure have not been well documented in the past. Thus, this paper attempts to assess local community-based management for potential ecotourism in South Kelantan which is Gunung Reng, Jeli as case study. The study investigated the local community involvement in managing Gunung Reng as tourist spot at their place. The instrument used during the survey was a semi-structured questionnaire. Community analysis were carried out and based on data ...view middle of the document...
According to official statistics, travel and tourism contributed to nearly RM50 billion in total receipts in 2010, an increase of over RM9 billion from the previous year. The arrivals also reached a record high of 24.5 million in 2010 and minimum value of 5 million in 1998. There is no doubt that travel and tourism industry plays a major role generating foreign income, creating new employment and also stimulating economic development. Tourism has a major impact on both people and the environment, hence the growing awareness of the need for tourism to be sustainable.
Despite encountering challenges such as occurrences of war and conflict, terrorism, natural disasters and health epidemic, the travel and tourism industry will remain a significant income earner and driver of growth for the country. Looking back, the rapid development of the travel and tourism industry is ascribed to the variety of new products that were actively pursued by the government since the formulation of the Malaysian tourism policy back in 1992. Of the product development priorities underlined in the policy, ecotourism was identified as one form of tourism to be expanded and sustained. The widespread interest in ecotourism among tourism players is due to its direct linkage to the greater prospects for sound and sustainable tourism development with strong possibilities for appropriate local participation and shared responsibility for preserving the environment, cultural heritage and people’s way of life.
With acknowledgement that ecotourism will expand at a faster rate than other tourism products, the commitment o develop ecotourism in Malaysia was endorsed in the drawing up of the national Ecotourism master Plan in 1996 by the World Wildlife Fund for nature (WWF). The plan was to provide a general framework in assisting the government in developing the country’s ecotourism potential.
The World Tourism organization estimates that international tourist arrivals in 2020 will reach to 1.6 billion worldwide and tourism receipts will exceed more than US$2 trillion (WTO, 2000). According to the international tourist can be considered as nature-based tourists. Millions of people travel to see and experience natural environments each year, and the scale of such movements leads, inevitably, to some disturbance or damage to visited sites. While such damage is attributable directly or indirectly to tourists and their activities, it is often unclear whether their actual behavior is responsible for the major negative impacts on nature and related activities such as the construction and development of infrastructure and facilities (Deng et al., 2002). Nevertheless, it is tourists who are usually identified as causing destruction particularly in developing countries.
Tourism is a major driver of change and can lead to both positive and less desirable outcomes for communities. Careful planning, awareness and education are required to balance the opportunities in a way that enhances the...