Sustainable Travel and Ecotourism in Malaysia

Malaysia is a top tourist destination for many reasons, including breath taking landscapes, vibrant metropolises, engaging history and culture, fantastic food, and some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world. Recently, however, another aspect of Malaysia is gaining popularity, which goes far beyond the conventional tourism attractions. Many people are also being drawn to Malaysia by a tug on their heart-strings in regards to its abundance of unique wildlife and its species preservation efforts.

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Instead of an escapist kind of vacation where your biggest concerns might be whether you should wear SPF30 or SPF50, or wondering whether your watch is waterproof after realizing that you are still wearing it having already been in the sea for an hour, these preservationist tourists are concerned with other matters. This increasing group of active and motivated tourists are set on vacationing with a purpose and getting involved.

Tourist Conservation Projects

There are actually various projects that tourists can get join while traveling in Malaysia, including Sun Bear, Elephant and Orangutan Sanctuaries, as well as other conservation efforts in Borneo. There are also Tiger conservation programs in Merapoh and Taman Negara, and the Green Sea Turtle protection program on the coast of the Perhentian Islands.

Malaysia is home to four species of marine turtles, which include Leatherback, Green, Hawksbill, and Olive Ridley turtles, and the Perhentian Islands host 4 of the key nesting sites for its Green Sea turtles. Although all marine mammals and turtles are protected in Malaysia under the Malaysian Wildlife Conservation Act 2010, these turtle species are still in great danger due to environmental factors. The destruction of their natural habitats, food sources and nesting sites, as well as illegal activities like harvesting, hunting and poaching, pose very significant threats. Vacation volunteers help in the form of aiding scientific research, helping to prevent poaching opportunities, observing the endangered species, and participating in sustainability awareness efforts.

Because its diverse and beautiful animal life is inextricably linked with the country’s culture and heritage, Malaysia has implemented “a much more developed legal framework for the protection of the environment than many of its neighbors,” and “takes its conservation laws very seriously.” In fact, the majority of national income is generated through ecotourism and vacation volunteerism, and Malaysia actually refuses to outright commercialize on ecotourism in order to balance tourism effects on the environment. Getting involved in a sustainable travel volunteer trip is an excellent way to see all of the beautiful ecotourism drawing factors, while also ensuring that tourism is beneficial as opposed to harmful to these attractions.

So, if you are interested in a beautiful get-away that also offers excitement, adventure and wonder; Malaysia is the ideal location. And when planning your Malaysian adventures, amidst the tanning on the beach, wandering through caves, and trekking through the jungle, consider getting involved in a conservation project. Not only will it be a travel experience that will be meaningful to you, but will also make a difference to the animals and people who make this beautiful destination so extraordinary.

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