Eco-tourism is responsible travel to fragile, pristine, and usually protected areas that strive to be low impact and (often) small scale (as an alternative to mass tourism). Its purpose is to educate the traveler, provide funds for ecological conservation, directly benefit the economic development of local communities.
Deramakot Forest Reserve (DFR) is managed based on a multiple use approach to natural forest management, as represented in the diagram below.
Currently, the sale of certified timber is the sole source of revenue in DFR and eco-tourism is seen as another alternative to generate income. Eco-tourism has been highlighted in the 2nd & 3rd Forest Management Plan . DFR offers a variety of eco-tourism products. There are:
- Pristine forest. The last remaining intact lowland Dipterocarp forest besides Danum Valley, Imbak Canyon and Tabin Wildlife Reserve.
- Hotspot for biodiversity. 75% of mammals in Sabah can be found in DFR.
- Local culture
- Bird watching
- Mountain biking
- River cruise