Professor Amran Hamzah
Prof. Amran Hamzah is a Professor in Tourism Planning and Director, Centre for Innovative Planning and Development (CIPD), Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai, Johor, Malaysia.
He is notable for his role in championing Community Based Tourism (CBT) since the 1980s. As the former Head of the Tourism Planning Research Group (TPRG), he has led numerous studies commissioned by the Ministry of Tourism, APEC, British Council, ECER, IRDA and other government agencies related to CBT. Currently, TPRG is collaborating with the Malaysian Ecotourism Association (MEA) in carrying out capacity building programmes to scale up community based rural tourism projects in Tanjung Piai, Taman Negara and Gopeng. These pilot projects will then be used as models to showcase success stories in CBT.
Prof. Amran is committed to play a role in community based Tourism due to his respect for the desire and perseverance of rural communities in striving for economic progress without scarifying their community values and lifestyle. He is concerned that uncontrolled tourism development may marginalise rural communities and hopes that more and more academics will leave the comfort of their ivory tower to play an effective role in rural community development.
Prof. Amran observed that the exodus of rural youths to urban areas looking for jobs will inevitably result in dysfunctional rural communities in Malaysia if this trend is left unchecked. Community Based Tourism, while not being the complete panacea, has the potential of acting as a catalyst in creating sustainable jobs in rural areas, which in turn will bring back social cohesion and pride in the community.
In 2010 Prof. Amran was appointed as an Advisor to BEST Society and he is pleased to render his ideas especially in coming up with innovative approaches, projects and programmes to move up CBT along the value chain.
His personal philosophy is “give more than you take“.