Asia Pacific Ecotourism Conference

Asia Pacific Ecotourism Conference

 Asia Pacific Ecotourism Conference

Ecotourism experts and practitioners will be converging onto Kota Kinabalu in a three day conference from 16-18th October to learn and discuss on the latest trends in the field of global ecotourism development and to chart the course for the coming decade. The press statement by organising chairman and convenor, Albert Teo said that 200 delegates from 20 countries in five continents have signed up for the conference to be officiated by the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Culture, YB Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Majun.

The three days event which is sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Tourism Malaysia, and Sabah Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Sabah Tourism Board, MATTA and organised by MATTA Sabah Chapter consist of a full day workshop on ecolodge design and operation on 16th October at Pacific Sutera Hotel followed by a two day conference featuring six international keynote speakers on the theme “Adding value through ecotourism development” and 12 workshop speakers.

The full day ecolodge workshop will feature six speakers including architects,Mr. Sim Sie Hong, Ian Hall, Yukio Hasegawa, tour and lodge owners and operators, Amos Wekesa, Albert Teo, ecotourism accreditation expert Amy McCloughlin, to take the delegates through the whole process of identifying ecolodge sites, design, finance, construction, operations, marketing and accreditation. Constraints and challenges, green building index, social and environmental impact, responsible tourism standards will be touched upon, said Albert Teo, who also convened the first APeco in 2002.

The keynote speakers for the two day conference will focus on how ecotourism can add value to conservation, contribute to community, economic value to natural areas, nature tourism development and how design can add value to ecotourism development.

Among the speakers is social entrepreneur, Amy Carter-James whose inspiring and innovative project at Mozambique helped lifted some 24,000 people out of poverty and won her many international ecotourism awards in her early 30s.

Another inspirational speaker is 40 year old business entrepreneur tour operator and lodge owner, Amos Wekesa from Uganda who with a saving of $200 opened his own company, Great Lakes Safaris.

Masaru Takayama from Japan is founder of Japan Ecolodge Association will be speaking on how ecotourism can contribute to conservation in Japan and internationally and how to attract Japanese ecotourists.

Dr Young Ng, who will speak on economic value of nature area tourism, is the founder of Chairman of Association of Geoconservation helped set up the first Geopark in Hong Kong. He is presently advisor to seven Geoparks in China and assessor for UNESCO Global Geopark network.

In the afternoon, three ecolodge architects will lead in the workshop on how to use design to enhance value to ecotourism. Another workshop led by Professor Amran Hamzah and Mohd. Hashim will showcase Malaysia’s award winning community based ecotourism project in Batu Putih.

On day 3, Ministry of Tourism representative Encik Rashidi will bring us up to date with our Malaysia Ecotourism Masterplan. Amos Wekesa and Albert Teo will share their experiences  on ecolodge and ecotour development and Professor Ross Dowling who as advisor of Asia Pacific Geoparks will share his vast knowledge on Geotourism and Geoparks. Alison Pritchard, a gold winner of Perth Tourism Award 2013 who spent twelve years at Yancep National Park, Australia  will share on her experience running and developing ecotourism facilities in national parks.

For more information on the event, please contact Albert Teo, Organising Chairman for APeco2014 at +6088-230339, fax to +6088-230339 or email  , or visit the website

Ross and Wendy Dowling with Albert Teo



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