The principle objective behind developing community-based tourism in Kiulu Valley is to alleviate poverty among the local communities by creating new income and job opportunities – a social entrepreneurship approach that acts as a catalyst for community development and capacity building.
Some of the households in Ulu Kiulu are still living below the poverty line earning an average income of less than RM500 per month. Subsistence agriculture is their main form of livelihood, and most of them grow rubber trees or fruit trees such as durian, tarap, rambutan, pineapples to supplement their income.
Kiulu Farmstay is a community-based tourism project developed in Kiulu Valley and is a product of Borneo Eco Tours (BET) overseen by BEST Society, which aims to transform it into an integrated ecotourism destination that includes homestays, farmstays and outdoor adventure activities such as quad biking, camping, hiking, team building and many more.
The principle objective behind developing community-based tourism in Kiulu Valley is to alleviate poverty among the local communities by creating new income and job opportunities – a social entrepreneurship approach that acts as a catalyst for community development and capacity building. Some of the jobs that have been created for the locals includes guiding, catering, gardening, housekeeping, maintenance and others.
The integrated community-based tourism initiative in Kiulu Valley is committed to using local resources (accommodation, activities and people), maintaining unique culture practices and developing rural tourism through training of hosts and linking homestays with surrounding products or activities. Through Borneo Eco Tours (BET), new tourism products have been developed in Kiulu, such as the ecolodge called the Fig Tree at Kiulu Farmstay, Borneo Quad Biking, Kiulu Farmstay Obstacle Course and Kiulu Bamboo Huts among others. Thus far, over 80 villagers have benefited through this approach with full-time and part-time employment and supplemental earnings through tourism.
For every guest who comes and stay at Kiulu Farmstay, they will contribute to the Community Development Contribution that goes to Mukim Ulu Kiulu Ecotourism Solutions and Technologies (MUKEST) Society, a local NGO set up in May 2016 by BEST Society for the thirteen villages under the Kiulu Farmstay adoption project. The platform aims to boost the economic growth and improve the livelihood of the villages there. This is also to reduce their dependency on external parties, charity and hand-outs.
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