Malaysian Borneo specialist tour operator, Borneo Eco Tours was named the winner of 2012 SKÅL International’s Sustainable Development in Tourism Awards / Best Tour Operator-Travel Agents at the 73rd SKÅL International Congress held in Incheon, South Korea on 3rdOctober 2012. The award recognises Borneo Eco Tours for its triple bottom line of sustainable tourism business which benefits the environment and the local community. SKAL International is a professional organization of tourism leaders around the world, with approximately 20,000 members in 450 clubs throughout 85 countries.
Present at the awards ceremony was the founder of Borneo Eco Tours, Albert Teo (picture-right) who pioneered ecotourism in Borneo twenty one years ago in 1991. In receiving the award, Mr. Teo said “The award is a recognition of our team’s long-term commitment to sustainable tourism and corporate social responsibility. The company’s dedication to tree planting in Sukau, assisting the local Rungus community’s longhouse and conducting social entrepreneurship development courses is part of our culture of giving back to the environment and community’’. ‘’All these projects at times faced discouraging obstacles and challenges but our perseverance, support from our partners and teamwork paid off”, he added. (Projects)
Borneo Eco Tours set up its own for community-environment profit foundation arm called BEST Society. Together with Borneo Eco Tours and Sukau Rainforest Lodge, it has since expanded their projects from Sukau to Kudat and Pitas. As of December 2011, both Borneo Eco Tours and Sukau Rainforest Lodge have contributed to BEST Society a total of RM418,309.73 out of a total of RM792,650.76. The society also receives donations from various corporations, individual donors and works closely with strategic partners which includes WWF-Malaysia, Rotary Clubs, Sabah Wildlife Department, Skycommunity and ConocoPhillips.