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STB & Responsible Tourism

About Responsible Tourism

Responsible tourism is also about making a positive impact on the places that we visit – by being responsible for the environment, people, as well as tangible and intangible heritage. It means creating awareness and helping in the conservation of old monuments, the forest, water, and other resources belonging to a destination.

RMWF 2018 Green Initiative

Making A Difference In Sarawak Tourism

Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) has taken various steps to create a sustainable tourism industry since 2011.

Our tourism players adapt eco-friendly practices in their tourism products, such as encouraging bicycle-rides in rural areas or enjoy bird-watching in Sarawak’s lush rainforests. We promote homestays, encourage consumption of local food, and highlight local handicrafts and arts.

Such community-based tourism can be found in areas such as Nanga Sumpa in Batang Ai where travellers can gain an insight into the lifestyle of the various tribes of Sarawak who have lived in the remote areas for generations. These efforts can generate economy for its residents, especially those from lower-income groups. Sarawak’s biggest and renowned orangutan rehabilitation centre, Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre which is only 20km from Kuching City, is a sanctuary for the conservation of the orangutans in their natural habitat.

More importantly, STB takes environmental issues seriously and together with tourism players, we embark on activities like, waste management, energy conservation and environmental education.  We encourage tourism players in Sarawak to participate in greening initiatives such as banning of single use plastics, upcycling used materials and exploring innovative solutions to waste management.  These initiatives include the hotel industry turning food waste into compost or rural homestays operators converting used oil into soap products. At tourism-based events, separate bins are prepared to collect recyclable materials.

Making Responsible Tourism Our Norm

While tourism players shift the way it operates, it is also vital that travellers take on a more responsible mindset.

Travellers are encouraged to research the culture and practices before travelling. The world and its people are diverse and fascinating, and it is a privilege to experience different cultures and religions. Tourists can learn local customs, traditions and pick up the local language.

When it comes to eating, finding a place to stay and buying souvenirs, choosing where to spend money can have a massive impact on the community. By having dinner at a family restaurant, staying in a family-run guest house or purchasing a trinket from a street vendor, travellers are helping inject money directly into the local economy.

Besides creating a more authentic travel experience, these practices also help locals create a better life for themselves.

When it comes to the footprint left behind, travellers must endeavour to conserving energy and water, cutting back on the consumption of plastic water bottles and taking public transport whenever possible.

All in all, responsible tourism must no longer be a niche part of tourism but the new norm for every part of our sector. That means an opportunity to build back better and create and industry that is more resilient.

RT Agenda

The implementation of Responsible Tourism is in conjunction with the Visit Sarawak Campaign’s focus on Experiential and Responsible Tourism. As per World Tourism Organization, 2004, definition, responsible tourism is any form of tourism that can be consumed more responsibly. RT, which focuses on 3Es: ENVIRONMENT, EMPOWERMENT & ECONOMIC VIABILITY, requires that operators, hoteliers, governments, local people and tourists take responsibility, take action to make tourism more sustainable. RT is tourism which:

  • Minimises negative social, economic and environmental impacts
  • Generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities
  • Improves working conditions and access to the industry involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life changes
  • Makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage embracing diversity
  • Provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues
  • Provides access for physically challenged people
  • Is culturally sensitive, encourages respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence

In line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the RT programme highlights three SDGs on Responsible Tourism, namely Quality Education (SDG 4), Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12), and Partnerships for the Goals (SDG 17).

STB's Responsible Tourism Journey

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  • 2011 Onwards

    Tree Planting

  • 2015

    Waste Management & Tree Planting Initiatives at RWMF & BJ

  • 2019

    Waste Management Initiatives
    (Hotels, Restaurants & Shopping Mall)

  • 2020

    Online Learning Programme on Responsible Tourism

  • 2020

    Post COVID-19 Wastes Management Initiatives with Local Communities (Phase 1)

  • 2020

    “Jejak Digital” Initiatives
    (Phase 1)

  • 2021

    Post COVID-19 Waste Management Initiatives with local communities (Phase 2)

  • 2021

    “Jejak Digital” Initiatives
    (Phase 2)

  • 2021

    Responsible Tourism Awareness Talk at Mulu National Park with Stakeholders

  • 2021

    Stakeholder Outreach RT Programme at Long Bedian

  • 2021

    Responsible Tourism Workshops with Stakeholders

  • 2022

    Homestay Programme

    • Waste Management
    • Hygiene Kit
  • 2022

    E-Learning for E-Hailing Drivers

  • 2022

    SCOPE X DTTG

  • 2022

    RWMF x Green Initiative

  • 2022

    E-Learning for E-Hailing Drivers

  • 2022

    SCOPE X DTTG

  • 2022

    RWMF x Green Initiative

  • 2022

    Homestay Programme
    – Waste Management
    – Hygiene Kit

  • 2023

    EcoGreen Planet Tree Planting Programme

  • 2023

    EcoGreen Planet Tree Planting Programme

  • 2023

    Homestay Revisit Programme for recycling and upcycling training

  • 2023

    RWMF X Green Initiative

  • 2023

    E-Pande

  • 2023

    Homestay Revisit Programme for recycling and upcycling training