A COMMUNITY BASED TOURISM THROUGH CO-OPERATIVE IN SABAH MALAYSIA: CASE OF KOPERASI WALAI TOKOU KUNDASANG BERHAD (KOPSTAY)
Publication Date : 31/10/2020
The National Co-operative Policy 2011- 2020 identifies tourism as one of the potential industries that can offer high income to the co-operatives business sector. The tourism industry could create downstream tourism activities as part of community based tourism (CBT) and provide a stimulus for entrepreneurs among the communities. Despite the remarkable potential that the tourism industry can offer, The Malaysia Co-operatives Societies Commission (2015) reported that only 12 (0.98%) out of 1,223 co-operatives in Sabah have actively become involved in tourism businesses. As Sabah is one of the leading tourist attractions in Malaysia, the present study is part of the efforts to promote CBT among co-operative in Sabah by highlighting the benefit of co-operative in managing CBT. Considering this, the present study attempts to investigate the success factors of CBT that based on co-operative business model in Sabah. This is a case study that involved one community based tourism, the Koperasi Walai Tokou Kundasang Berhad (KOPSTAY) of Kundasang, Sabah, Malaysia. The primary data were gathered through field interviews with the board members of the co-operative, and the members of KOPSTAY. The results of this study revealed that the co-operative enables higher community involvement in the decision making process, which generates ideas and implementation of various tourism downstream activities as an addition to the homestay business. The initiatives have boosted the income of the KOPSTAY. Three main factors that supported the development of the community based homestay through co-operative include strong leadership, sharing knowledge and skills as well as the strong support from the government agencies. Therefore, this study recommends the importance of cooperation to achieve successful CBT development.
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