Local Community and Tourism Development: A Study of Rural Mountainous Destinations

  •  Mastura Jaafar    
  •  Norjanah Bakri    
  •  S. Mostafa Rasoolimanesh    


Malaysia is a popular rural destination worldwide because of its natural heritage. Rural tourism is increasingly viewed as a panacea, increasing the economic viability of marginalized areas, stimulating social regeneration, and improving the living conditions of rural communities. This study explores local community involvement in rural tourism development in Kinabalu National Park, Sabah. This study aims to obtain the local community’s perception of their involvement in tourism development and to determine the benefit of tourism destination development. To address these objectives, the quantitative method was employed. A total of 378 questionnaires were returned by the respondents. The research was conducted in the villages surrounding Kinabalu National Park. Residents have positive perceptions of tourism development in the area. Local communities prefer to be involved in the tourism sector because it improves their key income resources and quality of life.

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