Curtin Malaysia tourism students learn about wildlife tourism at Miri Crocodile FarmPosted date:
Miri – 29 September 2022 – Final-year tourism students of Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) recently went on a field trip to Miri Crocodile Farm as part of their ‘Contemporary Issues in Tourism Management’ unit studies. Accompanying them were associate dean of external engagement of Curtin Malaysia’s Faculty of Business, Yip Ka Yii, and the deputy unit coordinator, Dr. Ho Jie Min.
According to Dr. Ho, such field trips are important as they allow students to discover the real issues and concerns of industry practitioners in different tourism markets. They also provide students with different perspectives and a broader understanding of the complexity of tourism as the practitioners share their personal experiences in contrast to the theories and concepts the students learn in the classroom.
Extending over 22 acres, Miri Crocodile Farm is a popular location for human-wildlife interaction in Miri, Sarawak. It is also the first and largest crocodile farm in the northern region of Sarawak, registered with and recognised by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The farm is home to thousands of crocodiles of different species as well as other exotic animals from tropical countries such as southern cassowaries, pythons, binturong and sun bears.
“Wildlife tourism is becoming increasingly popular as people these days want to observe animals in their natural habitats. Wildlife tourism is also a powerful tool for destinations like Miri to grow and diversify their economies, protect the biodiversity, and at the same time meet several Sustainable Development Goals,” said Dr. Ho.
“Tourists can also engage in wildlife conservation and help improve the livelihoods of the locals through the creation of tourism-related jobs, revenue-sharing arrangements, and co-management of natural resources.”
Jacky Chai, second-generation owner and operations manager of Miri Crocodile Farm, said the farm located in Kuala Baram has always been an important tourism attraction for Miri. However, it is no easy task ensuring the long-term sustainability of the farm, especially with the high operation and maintenance costs involved.
“Hence, we encourage the locals to continue supporting local businesses like ours and help spread the word about our farm,” said Chai.
He said the farm adopts an open concept which allows visitors to interact with wildlife such as baby crocodiles, pythons and cockatoos, as well as some domesticated animals. It is not only a unique selling point for the farm but also fosters connectedness between the visitors and nature.
Throughout the visit, the students were given ample opportunities to ask questions to better connect what they have learned in the classroom to actual industry practice. They were also of the opinion that being amidst nature was a welcome respite from attending lectures and meeting assignment deadlines.
Curtin Malaysia offers Curtin University’s 3-year Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) double major in Marketing and Tourism and Hospitality, which identifies key theoretical principles and practical underpinnings of marketing, tourism and hospitality management, and applies these from a conceptual and practical approach to industry and business.
Students learn about contemporary issues in international tourism, such as event and tourism sustainability, the impact of tourism and events on the local and global economy, destination management, hospitality management and marketing.
For more information on this double major and other BCom single and double majors, go to https://courses.curtin.edu.my/courses-and-study/undergraduate/business/.
Information on Curtin Malaysia can be found on its website at www.curtin.edu.my, or look for Curtin Malaysia on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn or Tik-Tok.