SOCIAL IMPACT OF AGRO-TOURISM ON LOCAL URBAN RESIDENTS. CASE STUDY: CAMERON HIGHLANDS, MALAYSIA

Oliver Ling Hoon Leh, Mohd Hafizol Che Mohd Noor, Marlyana Azyyati Marzukhi, Siti Nur Afiqah Mohamed Musthafa

Abstract

Agro-tourism is a new tourism product introduced in Malaysia based on agricultural attraction. Cameron Highlands is the largest agricultural based highland resort area in Malaysia. The cool climate, farms, and natural environment make Cameron Highlands a famous tourist destination. Agrotourism has become one of the important economic sectors in Cameron Highlands. The study is aimed to examine the social impact of the agro-tourism industry on the local urban residents in Cameron Highlands. A questionnaire survey was carried out among the local urban residents to examine the social impact based on the respondents’ experience and perceptions. A sample of 100 respondents were selected from three main urban settlements in Cameron Highlands. The social impacts were analysed based on the changes over the period of five (5) years. The study covered four (4) main aspects, i.e. safety, job and business opportunity, migration, and social-cultural (language, religious and educational level). The findings indicate that the local urban residents were positively and also negatively affected by the agro-tourism activities and development in Cameron Highlands. Proper planning and policies are crucial to manage the agro-tourism and related development in Cameron Highlands.

Keywords

Agro-tourism, impact, migration, opportunity, social

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