Making A Living: Pro Poor Tourismin Hot Spring Recreational Park of Sungai Klah,Sungkai, Perak, Malaysia
Keywords:Poverty, Pro Poor Tourism (PPT), Hot Spring, Regional Development
Poverty is perceived as something unending in most poor and developing countries and it still occurs in areas including which have become tourist attraction centres. Tourism is an economic sector that is increasingly growing in importance to most poor and developing countries especially in rural areas and in the interior. Tourism activities have the ability to stimulate regional development rapidly which in turn benefits the locals. However, there is also a situation whereby its development is not equally beneficial to the government, investors and locals despite the rapidly developing tourism activities in that area. Pro Poor Tourism (PPT) is a mechanism that is able to benefit the poor at tourism centres; several strategies and approaches were identified as capable of increasing the cooperative bonding between the government, private sectors and local population as well as providing benefits to all three parties without ignoring the locals in the area. This study aims to present the PPT situation at a hot spring pool in Sungkai, Perak, Malaysia as to whether it has successfully fulfilled the PPT aspirations. By means of interviews and questionnaires conducted on 50 local respondents living around the hot spring, the results showed that on the average the hot spring benefited the locals but at a medium rate. It was found that the tourism development benefited the entrepreneurs (investors) more than the locals who are mostly on collective ownership. A number of recommendations to increase the participation of the locals in the current tourism development at the centre were put forward so as to realize the aspirations of the PPT.