Women Empowerment through Ecotourism Activities in
Lower Kinabatangan Area of Sabah, East Malaysia
Universiti Malaysia Sabah
*Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
In Malaysia, women participation in ecotourism activities is a growing
phenomenon, yet studies in this area are still in their infancy. Consequently,
this paper seeks to identify women participation in ecotourism activities that
empower them to be involved actively. Guided by Scheyvens’s Empowerment
Framework (SEF), this study has identified several factors that contributed
positively towards their participation in ecotourism activities as well as
empower them at four levels such as psychological, social, political and
economic. This study was carried out in Abai Village, Lower Kinabatangan,
Sabah, from September to November 2014. Primary data were collected
through face-to-face in-depth interviews with the women who were engaged
in ecotourism activities in Abai Village. In addition, field observations and
secondary resources were also utilised to strengthen the research findings.
The findings revealed that, women in Abai Village are seriously and actively
involved in ecotourism activities, and then this involvement has directly
or indirectly empowered them aforementioned empowerment’s levels. This
study has significant contributions to the tourism industry in Malaysia, where
women participation in development projects such as ecotourism activities
in rural areas of Malaysia enhances their lifestyle politically, economically,
psychologically and socially.
Keywords: women empowerment; abai village; ecotourism activities;
Received: September 2016 Published: January 2017
Tourism has been considered a signicant income contributor to the country
and can make a tremendous contribution to people’s lives as well as to the
environment (Jucan & Jucan, 2013). It is also widely acknowledged that
tourism is a fast growing industry and is growing with a great pace (Dogra
& Gupta, 2012). To many developing countries basically they are utilizing
JGD Vol. 13. Issue 1, January 2017 135-148
JGD Vol. 13. Issue 1, January 2017 135-148
tourism as an important tool to increase domestic and foreign investment
(Akama, 2002; Jenskins, 1982; Hitchcock, King & Parnwell, 2009;
Campbell, 1999), job opportunities (Yacob, et al. 2007), development of
infrastructure and communication facilities (Bhuiyan, et al. 2011), foreign
exchange earnings for a country (Magigi & Ramadhani, 2013), as well as
local community development (Hussin, 2008, 2009; Magigi & Ramadhani,
2013). Tourism sector in Malaysia can be categorised as at a decent level.
This can be proved by the number of tourist arrivals in the country which
has increased by 25.03 million, registering a total expenditure of MYR60.6
billion (USD 46.26 billion) in 2012 differing from the previous year, which
only recorded a turnover of 24.71 million tourist arrivals and total expenditure
of MYR58.3 billion (Tourism Malaysia, 2014). Therefore, tourism has the
same great potential compared to other sectors such as manufacturing and
Tourists Arrivals and Receipts to Malaysia (2006-2012)
Year Arrivals Receipts (RM)
2012 25.03 Million 60.6 Billion
2011 24.71 Million 58.3 Billion
2010 24.58 Million 56.5 Billion
2009 23.65 Million 53.4 Billion
2008 22.05 Million 49.6 Billion
2007 20.97 Million 46.1 Billion
2006 17.55 Million 36.3 Billion
The tourism sector in Malaysia is a growing sector and the role to be played
by the government is increasingly important. The Malaysian government is
apprehensive in introducing effective measures to advance of the tourism
sector for the economic benets. The government has introduced a number
of policies to promote the development of tourism, such as Malaysia
Plan Outline, Outline of the Tenth Malaysia’s Economic Transformation
Program (ETP), National Tourism Policy (NTP), National Physical Planning
and Local Agenda 21 (LA 21). The main agency in the tourism sector in
Malaysia is the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia, better known
as MOTAC. Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia serves as a catalyst
for broader measures that could increase the potential of Malaysia’s tourism
sector at the stage of the world. In order to efciently launch the progress of
the implementation of these measures, the government has sufcient funds
and adequate infrastructure to develop the tourism sector (Bhuiyan, Siwar
JGD Vol. 13. Issue 1, January 2017
& Ismail, 2013). By 2020, the tourism industry in Malaysia has aimed to
contribute MYR103.6 billion (USD 32.37 billion) in Gross National Income
and tourist arrivals are expected to be 36 million (Nair, Munikrishnan,
Rajaratnam & King, 2014). The Malaysian government gives serious
attention in the development of tourism in order to achieve this target.
In relation to this, the rural tourism products in Malaysia mainly
include homestays, ecotourism, agrotourism, cultural and heritage-based
tourism, have the great potential to generate income and economic benets
to the country, as well as enhancing the local community livelihoods.
Ecotourism in Malaysia is a growing sector and was recognised in the
national development plans such as the National Ecotourism Plan 1996. The
National Ecotourism Plan was developed and intended to provide a general
framework to assist the government to develop the country’s ecotourism
potential. This plan was developed on the basis of economic, socio-cultural
and environmental concern and to sustain prots. Government agency that
is responsible to implement this National Ecotourism Plan 1996 is also the
Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC) by ensuring that the
ecotourism activities are in line with the objective of the plan.
Gender and Tourism
Previous studies have mentioned that the tourism is a tool for economic,
social and political empowerment of women (Scheyvens, 1999; Jucan &
Jucan, 2013). The engagement of women in tourism activities is essential
and can be seen in the development policies. In United Nation’s Millennium
Development Goal (MDG), ve out of eight goals are directly and indirectly
related to women empowerment (Jucan & Jucan, 2013). As Ferguson (2007)
stated, women engagement in tourism development have been considered
vital for current era and being acknowledged by United Nation World
Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). Moreover, Ferguson claimed that tourism
development may, in theory, contribute to gender equality and women’s
empowerment policies are vital to be introduced in order to achieve the
objectives of the development policies. Although, the global development
policies have recognised women’s participation in tourism policies, the
studies regarding to what extent women being empowered by the tourism is
paid less attention to in previous literatures with a few exceptions (Osman,
Ahmad, Ahmad, Husin, Abu Bakar & Tanwir, 2009; Isaac & Conrad-J.
Wuleka, 2012; Rout & Mohanty, 2015). In Malaysia, studies on women
participation in ecotourism activities is a growing phenomenon, yet studies
in this area are still in their infancy. To bridge the gap, this research adopted
Scheyvens’s Empowerment Framework (1999) which determines four
dimensions of empowerment: economic, psychological, social and political.
This study’s framework is to examine how ecotourism activities can enhance
women empowerment in relation to tourism development and management
from the local’s perspective. Therefore, to achieve the research objectives of
this study, a case of Abai Village in the Lower Kinabatangan of Sabah has
The Concept of Empowerment in Tourism Studies
The concept of empowerment in tourism studies have been popularised by
Scheyvens in year 1999. She has published her work entitled ‘ecotourism
and the empowerment of local communities’ in Tourism Management
Journal. For Scheyvens (1999) the empowerment framework could provide
a mechanism to measure effectiveness of ecotourism initiatives with regards
to tourism impacts on local community (Scheyvens, 1999). By having this
empowerment framework, community based ecotourism actors can avoid
the potential problems in the ecotourism operation and management.
The denition of empowerment is controversial and there is no
universally agreed denition of this concept (Andrews, Barbera, Mickle
& Novik, 2013). However, Andrews, et al. (2013) have agreed that the
term empowerment should be combined with both an economic and social
perspective in the denition. Thus, they adapted the empowerment denition
which is coined by Alsop and Heinsohn’s denition that emphasized more
“capacity building view of empowerment”. Empowerment, therefore, can be
dened as the enhancement “of an individual’s or group’s capacity to make
choices and transform those choices into desired actions and outcomes”
(Andrews, et al. 2013). According to Scheyvens (1999), empowerment could
be classied into four dimensions of community capacity such as economic,
social, psychological and political with regards to ecotourism studies.
First, the economic empowerment refers to a fair distribution of
economic benets or gains generating income through tourism activities
by the local communities especially the disadvantaged groups including
women and poor villagers rather than external parties (Scheyvens, 1999;
Park & Kim, 2014). Moreover, economic empowerment can also be dened
as “increasing scal means and power in a women’s life such as an increase
in income as well as position in the household” (Andrews, et al. 2013). Park
& Kim (2014) agreed that economic empowerment “expects to provide
long-term scal benets to the local communities and create small business
JGD Vol. 13. Issue 1, January 2017
Second, the psychological empowerment refers to the extent to which the
“local community optimistic about their future, has faith in the abilities of
its residents, is relatively self-reliant and demonstrates pride in traditions and
culture” (Scheyvens, 1999). In other words, the pride and recognition from
the outsiders towards the local community’s works make the local community
psychologically empowered, for instance, towards their hand-made
handicrafts. Moreover, the recognition not only increase the community-
pride but also make the local community to be involved in tourism activities
with more enthusiasm and have an actual interest to share their traditional
knowledge with the tourists (Timothy, 2007; Park & Kim, 2014).
Third, the social empowerment could be dened as a sense of
ownership by the local people towards any tourism projects in their respective
destinations. Again Scheyvens (1999) dened social empowerment in the
context of ecotourism as “a situation in which a community’s sense of
cohesion and integrity has been conrmed or strengthened by an activity
such as ecotourism”. Study by Park & Kim (2014) indicated that local
community in Goolwa strongly supported the tourism activities. They were
actively involved in the local events and community garden projects, thus,
empowered them socially. This study showed that the sustainable tourism
development could be realised if the local community actively participate
in tourism activities (Tosun, 2005) and could receive benets upon their
Finally, the political empowerment is also considered as one of
the signicant dimensions in the Scheyvens’s empowerment framework.
As Scheyvens (1999) argued that “if a community is to be politically
empowered by ecotourism, their voices and their concerns should guide the
development of any ecotourism projects from the feasibility stage through
to its implementation”. The local community in the tourist destination could
have some voice in the ecotourism development involving all age groups
including women, youths and elders. To achieve the sustainable tourism,
the development projects must involve local community participation in
decision making process because it is vital for sustainability. This research,
therefore, adopts these four dimensions of empowerment to understand how
women’s empowerment is achieved through ecotourism activities in Abai
Village, Lower Kinabatangan. There is still limited denition of women
empowerment in tourism studies, and there is a need for the development of a
women empowerment framework in tourism literature, particularly the terms
of conceptual denition in order to expand the body of knowledge. Thus, for
this research, had termed and operationalised women empowerment through
ecotourism as “the continuous active participation women in ecotourism
activities where they realised they realised the potential benets of ecotourism
activities which empower them socially, economically, environmentally and
politically, as well as acknowledging ecotourism as an alternative source for
Based on the previous literature, it was noted that there has been little
research on women empowerment in ecotourism activities in Abai Village,
Lower Kinabatangan, Sabah, East Malaysia. Thus, qualitative exploratory
research is seen as relevant to examine how women’s empowerment is
achieved through ecotourism activities. The study was carried out in
three months’ period of time starting from September to November 2014.
The primary data for this study was collected through a series of in-depth
interviews with women and community leader of Abai Village. A purposive
sampling technique (Sekaran, 1992) was employed in this study because all
the respondents have the experience in managing ecotourism activities in
Abai Village. Therefore, they have the best position to provide data for this
research. Abai Village was selected as a case because of its potential as an
ecotourism site in Lower Kinabatangan where several ecotourism activities
were run by the locals especially women.
All the informants were asked about their involvement in ecotourism
related activities and the socio-economic benets that they have received.
The interviews were usually conducted at the interviewee’s house and they
gave full support to co-operate with the researchers. All the interviews were
recorded after the researchers gain informants’ permissions. The interviews
lasted between 45 minutes to 1 hour. The interviewees preferred to speak in
Malay as it is a common language in their daily lives. After the interviews,
the raw data were analysed using thematic analysis technique (Braun &
FINDINGS AND DISCUSSIONS
According to Pookhao (2014), ecotourism is an alternative form of
tourism and was regarded as a development tool that promotes ecological
conservation. On the other hand, tourism has a potential to transform the
community lives to be better and it has less impact on local socio-cultural
have been discussed by the previous tourism researchers (Mbaiwa, 2004;
Sebastian & Rajagopalan, 2009). The ndings of this study have indicated
that ecotourism activities in Abai Village have been empowered women in
Abai Village in the following manners:
JGD Vol. 13. Issue 1, January 2017
Most of the ecotourism activities in Abai Village are engaged or managed
In Abai, all ecotourism activities are commonly managed by the local
community and could be regarded as an example of community-based
tourism activities. As remarked by the community leader (informant 7) all
the ecotourism related activities are under the management of Community
Abai Project also known as CAP. Majority of the CAP members are women
and local youths. The homestay programme under the management of CAP
was responsible for all the ecotourism activities. To date, there are four
households actively participated in the homestay programmes. Consequently,
women participation is vital for the survival of this homestay programme
for its sustainability. Through homestay programme, there are a number
of ecotourism products or activities that become tourist attractions such as
river cruise, wildlife viewing, rey watching, boat service, tree planting
or restoration activities, local traditional foods, cultural performances,
showcasing traditional method of catching prawns, and showing mass
owering of Mangifera (a prominent species around the Lower Kinabatangan
Sanctuary). These activities are listed under the homestay programme and
have been packaged to full the tourists’ demands. Normally, the tourists are
free to choose their preferred package whenever they decide to stay in the
homestay programme. This study indicated that, women majority being a
housewife and homestay operators voluntarily take charge in providing good
hospitality to the tourists or guests who stayed over at their homestays. Most
of the outdoor activities however are managed and operated by the local
youths as well as by the head of households. This is not to say that women
are not involved in outdoor activities, rather they become the backbone
to their family by providing most of the homestay services or aspects
such as preparing food four times a day for the tourists and their family
members. Thus, women participation in ecotourism activities, especially in
the homestay programme of Abai, is vital because of their hard work and
Sign of social empowerment: There is stronger collaboration between CAP
and stakeholders in ecotourism activities enhancing women participation
Prior to the establishment of homestay programme in Abai Village in year
2001, the local community agreed to participate in homestay programme and
they were working together with external stakeholders. WWF Sabah was the
rst NGO which introduced the homestay programme at Abai with the hope
that the poverty level of the local community could be decreased. The social
empowerment in the establishment of homestay programme could be seen
where the four households especially women with permission from their
husbands agreed to participate in the homestay programme. The reason why
they were interested to participate in homestay programme was claimed by a
female Homestay Coordinator. She claimed that:
“With the introduction of this programme, we
became interested to participate for the main
reason being our involvement in this programme
could enhance our livelihood and economic
achievement” (Informant 3, 2014).
With the co-operation and collaboration of the NGO and local community
themselves, the homestay programme was successfully established and fully
operated by the locals at Abai in 2001.This nding supported Park & Kim’s
study in year 2014, where there was a greater and stronger collaboration
among the stakeholder for tourism development. It was obvious that, without
women’s participation, the homestay programme could not be smoothly
implemented. This is because almost every hospitality services need women’s
roles in order to please the guest. For instance, the services such as preparing
traditional foods, hand-made handicrafts, cleanliness of the homestays, and
forest restoration project such as tree nursery in Abai Village were fully
dependent on women participation.
Moreover, women roles at Abai were also signicant in the social
aspect of community development process. It was evident that CAP introduced
donation initiative where it was integrated in the homestay programme. This
initiative was aimed to enhance the social cohesion and livelihoods of the
local people of Abai. In this initiative, 10 per cent of the homestay income
per day will be charged by the CAP from every homestay operators in the
village. This initiative was supported by the women homestay operators and
they signicantly contribute to the success of this initiative. The collection
funds will be used for community development purposes and for the homestay
operation within the village. The CAP treasurer noted that, “the raised funds
will be used for homestay maintenance and other livelihoods programme
within the village” (women informant 1). Thus, social empowerment through
fund raising initiative among the locals was an example of the empowerment
framework suggested by Scheyvens (1999). This nding is in line with her
suggestion in the context of ecotourism activities.
Sign of economic empowerment: Women as homestay operators’ gains
economic empowerment through ecotourism activities
Ecotourism activities especially homestay programmes, was perceived by
the informants to have an impact on their livelihoods and has empowered
them in terms of economic benets because of their participation in
ecotourism activities. A female homestay operator agreed that homestay
JGD Vol. 13. Issue 1, January 2017
programme in Abai was providing economic benets and acts an alternative
socio-economic activity for the villagers. The following comments from the
informant explain the situation:
“When the homestay was set up here, as a
homestay operator, our economic status has
increased. Previously, the marine resources like
fish resources had increased but currently it has
worsened and decreased. Thus, community-
based tourism activities [homestay programme]
have helped us to get some income. On the
other hand, many of us tend to be involved in
this programme because of the potential income
from the programme” (Informant 4, 2014).
Moreover, other women informants (informants 1, 2, 3) who are also the
homestay operators have supported the view that economic benets from
the homestay programme enhanced their livelihoods by improving the cash
earned. An equal opportunity in the homestay programme at Abai Village
provided a fair distribution of additional income among the homestay
operators within the Abai’s community. As Scheyvens (1999) suggested that
“ecotourism brings lasting economic gains to a local community”. Similarly,
these ndings supported the previous study where 34 CBT projects in
Nicaragua, Central America provided employment opportunities to the local
people as well as economic benets such as income generated (Zapata, Hall,
Lindo, & Vanderschaeghe, 2011).
Sign of psychological empowerment: Most of the women gains self-esteem
through ecotourism activities
This study also observed that women at Abai Village strongly supported
ecotourism activities since it brought them psychological empowerment
where passive participation changed to active participation. In-depth
interviews with women informants show that they agreed to this statement
and they were largely encouraged by their family members as well as by
external parties such as NGOs to participate actively. The community leader
(informant 7) of Abai Village claimed that the local residents presently faced
transformation in terms of their level of condence with their daily activities.
He also stressed that with the introduction of ecotourism activities in Abai
Village, the benets from those activities are not only restricted to ecotourism
participants but to the whole of Abai’s community.
In Abai Village, homestay operators are dominated mostly by
women because these women have good skills on hand-made handicraft and
traditional cooking. During the eldworks, the researchers enjoyed watching
the process of making handicraft by the women at their homestays. They were
good at making a variety of handicrafts which showed their way of lives such
as making traditional shing equipment. Evidently, this shows they have a
sense of pride about their culture and traditions through handicraft making.
Doing these kind of activities in the homestay programme has clearly
demonstrated the psychological empowerment gained by the women at Abai.
As Scheyvens’s (1999) claimed that self-esteem of the community members
were enhanced because they were recognised by the outsiders especially
tourists and guests and this will make them want to be enthusiastically
Sign of political empowerment: Women have full rights in decision making
in the homestay programme
At the local level, there was a good relationship between community
leader and the other ecotourism participants particularly in dealing with the
ecotourism management. In this study, researchers have observed that there
was a good understanding between these two groups which beneted the
whole community if the relationship is long lasting and sustainable. In CAP
management, women participants have full rights in decision making process
in the ecotourism related activities. Take for instance this particular woman
homestay programme coordinator who is also the head of CAP organisation.
As the homestay coordinator, she claimed that they are able to play multiple
roles such as domestic workers and homestay operators. The political
structure at the local village provides enough rights to women to express
their views and opinions related ecotourism activities and the homestay
management. This nding is in line with Park & Kim’s (2014) study where
local community have rights to say ‘no’ to any development plans which did
not reect community wants and needs and clearly indicated that political
empowerment among the local community has been realised.
CONCLUSION AND FUTURE RESEARCH SUGGESTIONS
The results of this study suggest that ecotourism activities through homestay
programme signicantly inuenced women participation actively and
empowered them socially, psychologically, economically and politically
in Abai Village, Lower Kinabatangan, Sabah. Moreover, this study also
suggests that Abai Village can be a form of sustainable tourism destination
and development. This is because the collaboration of local people with
the external stakeholders has existed. From this study, it was evident that
outside stakeholder like WWF has played a signicant role to help the local
community to enhance their livelihood by having homestay programmes.
JGD Vol. 13. Issue 1, January 2017
Tosun (2000) viewed that community-based ecotourism operation in the
developing countries need more attention and reinforcement from the outside
stakeholders compared to developed nations.
This study was provided both, theoretical and policy implications.
The theoretical implication shows that the concept of empowerment
suggested by Scheyvens, (1999) has been fully utilized in the context of
ecotourism development in Abai Village. It is also shown that the Scheyvens’s
Empowerment Framework for this study is applicable. This study has
achieved the objectives where ecotourism activities have enhanced local
community participation especially women, which then have empowered
them. Moreover, this study has to some extent fullled the research gap
in tourism studies with regards to women participation and empowerment
issues in ecotourism activities in Malaysia. For the policy implications,
this study suggested that local tourism stakeholders especially Ministry of
Tourism, Culture and Environment Sabah should play a signicant role by
providing more assistance to the local community at Abai in order to sustain
their active involvement. It is hoped that, external stakeholders like NGOs
should also support the local community in terms of providing substantial
knowledge and training related to ecotourism and homestay programmes.
This research has clearly addressed the four dimensions or signs
of empowerment of women (Scheyvens, 1999) in ecotourism activities of
Abai Village. Thus, it is suggested that the signs of women empowerment in
ecotourism activities in Abai Village, Lower Kinabatangan, Sabah, could be
enhanced in sustainable manners in the near future.
On the other hand, the study has several limitations. First, the
present study covered only a village in Lower Kinabatangan area of Sabah,
which is the Abai Villages. Other villages, such as Sukau, Batu Puteh, Bilit,
Dagat and Sri Ganda are also located within the Lower Kinabatangan area
but there are limited empirical research conducted in these villages, thus
there is a need to do more research on women participation in ecotourism
activities. In addition, our observation revealed that the most popular
ecotourism activities in these villages are largely dominated by women, and
more empirical research are needed to document their contributions to the
tourism industry in Sabah, Malaysia. Second, this study only focused on the
positive empowerment factors for women in ecotourism activities in Abai
Village, but did not study the disempowerment brought by ecotourism to the
women involved in ecotourism activities, hence, future research could be
useful to identify this issue.
This study was nanced by Sabah Forestry Department (SFD).
Akama, J. S. (2002). The role of government in the development of tourism
in Kenya. International Journal of Tourism Research, 4 (1): 1-14.
Andrews, E., Barbera, N., Mickle, M., & Novik, H. (2013). Prospects
for women’s economic empowerment: trends and models for
sustainability in the Artisenal sector. Report submitted to Institute
for Global and International Studies. The George Washington
Bhuiyan, M. A. H., Siwar, C., & Ismail, S. M. (2013). Tourism development
in Malaysia from the perspective of development plans. Asian Social
Science, 9 (9): 11-18.
Bhuiyan, M. A. H., Siwar, C., Ismail, S. M., Islam, R. (2011). Ecotourism
development in Recreational Forest Areas. American Journal of
Applied Sciences, 8 (11): 1116-1121.
Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology.
Qualitative research in Psychology, 3 (2), 77-101. http://dx.doi.org./
Dogra, R., & Gupta, A. (2012). Barriers to community participation in
tourism development: Empirical evidence from a rural destination.
South Asian Journal of Tourism and Heritage (SAJTH), 5 (1): 129-
Hitchcock, M., King, V. T., & Parnwell. (Eds). (2009). Tourism in Southeast
Asia: Challenges and new directions. Copenhagen: NIAS Press.
Hussin, R. (2008). Ecotourism and Community Participation in the Homestay
Programme of Sukau Village: Long-term or Limited Benets?
Jurnal Sarjana, (23): 72-86.
Hussin, R. (2009). Ecotourism, Local Community and “Partners for
Wetlands” in the Lower Kinabatangan Area of Sabah: Managing
Conservation and Conicts? Borneo Research Journal, (3): 57-79.
Isaac, M., & Conrad-J.Wuleka, K. (2012). Community-Based Ecotourism
and livelihood enhancement in Sirigu, Ghana. International Journal
of Humanities and Social Science, 2 (18): 97-108.
Jenskins, C. L. (1982). The use of investment incentives for tourism projects
in developing countries. Tourism Management, 3, (June), 91-103.
Jucan, M. S., & Jucan, C. N. (2013). Gender trends in tourism destination.
Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 92, 437-444.
Magigi, W., & Ramadhani, H. (2013). Enhancing tourism industry through
JGD Vol. 13. Issue 1, January 2017
community participation: A strategy for poverty reduction in
Zanzibar, Tanzania. Journal of Environmental Protection, 4,
Mbaiwa, J. E. (2004). The socio-cultural impacts of tourism development in
the Okavango Delta, Bostswana. Journal of Tourism and Cultural
Change, 2 (3): 163-184.
Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Ecotourism in Malaysia. Retrieved
from www.tourismmalaysia.gov.my Accessed on 30 November
Nair, V., Munikrishnan, U. T., Rajaratnam, S. D., & King, N. (2015).
Redening rural tourism in Malaysia: A conceptual perspective. Asia
Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 20 (3): 314-337.
Osman, I., Ahmad, Z. A., Ahmad, N. H., Husin, A., Bakar, S. A., &Tanwir, N.
D. (2009). Following the trail of women homestay entrepreneurs in
Malaysia: understanding their motivation and empowerment. TEAM
Journal of Hospitality & Tourism, 6 (1): 24-35.
Park, E., & Kim, S. (2014). Enhancing local community’s involvement and
empowerment through practicing Cittaslow: Experiences from
Goolwa, South Australia. SHS Web of Conferences 12,
01044, pp. 1-7.
Pookhao, N. (2014). Community-Based Ecotourism: the transformation of
local community. SHS Web of Conferences. 12, 01044, pp. 1-8.
Rout, H. B., & Mohanty, K. (2015). Empowering women through tourism
development. Odisha Review, February-March 2015, pp. 85-89.
Scheyvens, R. (1999). Ecotourism and the empowerment of local
communities. Tourism Management, 20 (2): 245-249.
Sebastian, L. M., & Rajagopalan, P. (2009). Socio-cultural transformations
through tourism: a comparison of residents’ perspectives at two
destinations in Kerala, India. Journal of Tourism and Cultural
Change, 7 (1): 5-21.
Sekaran, U. (1992). Research Methods for Business: A skill building
approach. (2nd ed). New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Timothy, D. (2007). Tourism, power and space. London: Routledge.
Tosun, C. (2000). Limits to Community Participation in the Tourism
Development Process in Developing Countries. Tourism
Management, 21 (6): 613-633.
Tosun, C. (2005). Stages in the emergence of a participatory tourism
development approach in the developing world. Geoforum, 36, 333-
Tourism Malaysia (2014). Statistics of tourist arrivals. Retrieved from
www.tourism.gov.my Accessed on 12 Nov 2014.
Yacob, M. R., Shuib, A., Mamat, M. F., & Radam, A. (2007). Local
economic benets of ecotourism development in Malaysia: The case
of Redang Island Marine Park. International Journal of Economics
and Management, 1(3): 365-386.
Zapata, M. J., Hall, C. M., Lindo, P. & Vanderschaeghe, M. (2011). Can
community-based tourism contribute to development and poverty
alleviation? Lessons from Nicaragua. Current Issues in Tourism, 14