Malaysia is indeed blessed with a wide range of natural and cultural assets that makes ecotourism a highly beneficial, feasible, sustainable and long-term form of tourism.
Malaysia is one of the twelve mega-biologically diverse countries in the world, which boasts at least 15,000 species of flowering plants, 286 species of mammals, 150,000 species of invertebrates and 4,000 species of fishes in addition to the countless micro-organisms.
Covering almost 60 per cent of land mass, Malaysia's tropical rainforests are millions of years old and they are home to an incredibly diverse array of flora and fauna. There may still be animals, plants, flowers, and trees yet to be discovered living beneath its canopy.
Malaysia's seas shelter various marine life that rely on the delicate balance of an undamaged ecosystem. Turtles from the other side of the world make pilgrimages over thousands of miles to nest on Malaysian shores. Similarly, visitors from the four corners of the world make yearly visits to our shores simply to witness the magical world of the undersea.
Malaysia offers tourists a range of activities in which they may engage to experience and fully appreciate the ecotourism experience such as caving, hiking, jungle trekking, white water rafting, rock climbing, bird watching, diving and river cruising.
There are also ecotourism-based events organized to create awareness about the importance of conservation of the country's natural and cultural assets. Such events include the Tabin Wildlife Conservation Conquest in Sabah, Fraser's Hill International Bird Race and Taman Negara Eco-Challenge competition.
While promoting the natural attractions in the country to tourists, the Malaysian Government also realizes the importance of sustainable tourism and of balancing conservation and development. As such, the Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia, has adopted the National Ecotourism Plan (NEP) to provide policies and guidelines for the conscientious development of ecotourism.