Sabah with its rich ethnic cultures offers diverse experiences for the culture-seeking traveller. There are more than 30 different indigenous groups in Sabah such as Bajau, Murut, Dusun, Rungus, Orang Sungai, etc. each tribe generally unique to a particular district, lending to a distinctive way of village living, music, dance and festivals, and unique handicrafts.
The ‘Responsible Cultural Tourism’ concept in Sabah such as Village-Stay andHome-Stay offer visitors to experience the hospitality and traditions of the local communities in authentic village settings as well as provide them the opportunity to explore a range of nature-adventure destinations in Sabah. Although most of such destinations are lesser-known, they are equally amazing and of high quality as all of them are hidden from the destructive nature of mass tourism.
The Responsible Cultural Tourism concept is expected to flourish in Sabah because it helps the tourism industry to capitalise on the increasing demand from ‘special interest’ tourists for “rural” tourism products; rural tourism provides the tool for branding local, organic and traditional products. This encourages further development in ‘Special Interest’ Tourism variants such as Alternative-Tourism, Adventure-Tourism, Green-Tourism, Conservation-Tourism, Sustainable-Tourism, Ethical-Tourism, Volunteer-Tourism, Health-Tourism, Eco-Tourism, Agro-Tourism, etc.
The Responsible Cultural Tourism concept in Sabah shares the three basic dimensions of sustainable tourism development; economical, environmental and socio-cultural. Responsible Cultural Tourism concept offers a sustainable alternative to mass tourism as more travellers consider their vacations as a way to make a difference especially activities which are oriented towards continuity and the preservation of the uniqueness of the different cultures.
The Responsible Cultural Tourism concept in Sabah aims to encourage travellers to visit alternative sites to reduce stress in over-exploited places in order to promote fairer distribution of income among the local population.
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