Opportunities abound for ecotourism in the Asia-Pacific region. Countries’ ambitions to conserve forests in the region provide opportunities to expand ecotourism enterprises that have the potential to support and improve livelihoods, especially at the community level. Meanwhile, ecotourism presents opportunities for communities to diversify their economies while helping to preserve pristine landscapes.
With a focus on visitor experience, ecotourism brings additional dimensions to traditional tourism, such as by demonstrating a connection to the local economy and people. The capacity for ‘positive spending’ is created as tourists appreciate the economic value of their travel in promoting local livelihoods.
For countries like Brunei Darussalam, and others in the region looking to diversify their income streams, boosting ecotourism is very appealing. Brunei is in the fortunate position of having pristine rainforests, mangroves and reefs, along with rich biodiversity to showcase. The success of other ecotourism ventures on the island of Borneo shows some of the potential of this growing industry. This session explored opportunities for Brunei’s ecotourism by discussing success stories from both Borneo and the region.