Today’s Asia Sustainability Leaders interview takes us to Malaysian Borneo, where the experienced tourism and hospitality operator Gracie Geikie has made herself a name as ecotourism supporter and sustainability advocate.
- The current state of sustainable tourism in Sarawak (Malaysian Borneo), and the region’s ecotourism champions;
- How Aiman Batang Ai Resorts and Retreat involve their staff in sustainability initiatives;
- Why it makes financial sense for tourism operators to promote conservation rather than hunting of wildlife;
- How the Blue Ocean Strategy can help explore new markets.
Gracie, when did you discover your passion for sustainable tourism?
I have been a passionate tourism and hospitality operator since the late 70’s, but until it wasn’t until recently that I fully understood all elements of sustainable tourism. Working in remote areas such as the Bario Highlands, Mulu and Batang Ai, has opened my eyes to the pressing need to sustain our operations in these areas. A majority of conferences which I have attended address sustainability as a pillar for successful tourism and hospitality operations.
Sarawak, Malaysia is a destination that is still quite new to sustainable tourism with all its issues and efforts. Yet it is lucky in the sense that there have been several successful initiatives that can serve as lessons for other countries.