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Malaysia Aims to Become Top Ecotourism Destination
31 January 2023 | Written by Chris Alexander

Tourism Malaysia has outlined plans for the future during a recent travel fair – Fitur 2023. The organization revealed it intends to reposition Malaysia as one of the world’s premier ecotourism destinations, with the green and beautiful attractions of Sabah as the centrepiece of new, sustainable development.

Held from 18-22 January 2023, Fitur is described as the ‘global meeting point for tourism professionals and the leading trade fair for inbound and outbound markets in Latin America’. The Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board was accompanied at the event by Dato’ Akmal Che Mustafa, Ambassador of Malaysia in Spain, as well as Ms Noredah Othman, CEO of Sabah Tourism. In addition, Lotus Asia, Malai Adventure, EXO Travel and Asia Exotica were on hand to showcase the main attractions on offer in Malaysia.

Together, this delegation set out to reposition Malaysia as a pioneer in sustainable tourism development. Leading the way in this new movement is Sabah – an area famed for its lush tropical forests, coastlines sheltering pristine coral reefs, and Malaysia’s highest peak – Mount Kinabalu. Each of these attractions combine to make Sabah – and Malaysia – an attractive destination for eco-friendly tourism.

The new drive for green development forms part of Malaysia’s National Ecotourism Plan 2016-2025 under the slogan “tourism protects, preserves and conserves nature, culture and heritage”. Tourism Malaysia intends to encourage respectful interactions between locals and visitors, so travellers to Malaysia can discover authentic local culture and have a positive impact on the community.

Some of the top destinations being touted by the organisation include the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary in Sabah, along with neighbouring Sarawak and Mulu National Park, where caves and karst formations offer travellers a glimpse at Malaysia’s stunning landscapes. Elsewhere, the Belum Rainforest Resort in Perak (northern Peninsular Malaysia) and the Rantau Abang Turtle Hatchery (eastern Peninsular Malaysia) are expected to feature heavily in upcoming promotions.

In each of these locations, the government and tourism officials are working together with local communities to raise awareness of sustainability and preserve Malaysia’s natural wonders for the world to enjoy. For a closer look at some of these incredible ecotourism destinations, including Sepilok, Kinabalu and Sabah, go to the Travel With Us blog on the Panorama Destination Malaysia website.