Agrotourism in Malaysia: A Review on Concept, Development, Challenges and Benefits

Orryel Jaunis; Andy Russel Mojiol; Julius Kodoh.

Transactions on Science and Technology, 9(2), 77 - 85.

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Malaysia has a variety of products with the potential to be developed as unique tourist attractions. In the last decade, agrotourism or agritourism, has gained more attention, especially among the urban populations following the government’s initiative to use this platform for income diversification among the rural community. In Malaysia, agrotourism revolves around tourism activities offered by local farm operations in four agricultural branches, which are agriculture, fisheries, livestock, and agro-based industry, to maximize the farmers' income. The primary purpose of this review is to explore the development of agrotourism from the existing literature in the past three decades since its implementation in Malaysia. The concept and challenges of developing agrotourism were discussed in this paper. Besides that, this study also examines the contribution of the agrotourism sector to the local community in Malaysia in economic and social aspects. The literature review approach has been adopted to fulfill the objective of this review. A total of 17 papers were selected and studied for review in the current research. The finding shows that the development and achievement of agrotourism in Malaysia are slow and far behind our neighboring countries. The common challenges faced in establishing farm-based tourism include limitations among farmers and a lack of awareness of this niche besides the underdeveloped infrastructure and facilities in rural areas. Nevertheless, this review found that agrotourism has benefited the local community in economic and social aspects such as income diversification, job creation, and business opportunity. Therefore, agrotourism in Malaysia has a great potential to be one of the poverty alleviation initiatives when the related stakeholders execute proper approaches and policies. This study will help to understand the current scenario of agrotourism and thus hoped to be a basic guideline in farm-based tourism development planning in the future.

KEYWORDS: Agrotourism; farm-based tourism; Malaysia; local community; rural

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