Community-Based Ecologically Sustainable Tourism (CBEST)

Community-Based Eco-Tourism School


The aim of this project is to develop a training programme that builds local capacity to effectively develop and manage community-based eco-tourism projects across Sabah.

The Community Based Ecotourism School aims to provide support in three key areas:

  • Building local community capacity to effectively develop and manage community based eco-tourism products

  • Training community organisers, facilitators and community coordinators

  • Providing training in energy sustainability, sustainable waste management, recycling and habitat restoration




Eco-tourism is a significant and growing sector of Sabah’s tourism industry, and an important source of potential income for local communities. However, many eco-tourism ventures are 'eco' in name only, alienating indigenous people from their lands and damaging local communities and ecosystems. Community-based eco-tourism (CBE) ventures developed and owned by local communities, enable them to benefit from the industry in a sustainable and equitable manner. Unlike other economic activities such as agriculture, tourism involves the delivery of a sophisticated, refined and packaged product direct to the end user – the tourist. The CBETS programme intends to equip local communities with the skills necessary to thrive in this challenging yet promising industry.