The Sun Daily.
Wednesday 14th March 2001.
Banking on Eco Tourism.
By Ian McIntyre.
Nature is not just a catch word conjured up when it comes to, Mutiara Burau Bay Resort; it is an all‑out effort to showcase the often overlook gift from Mother Nature.
Owners, and executives of the resort, located near the Gunung Matchinchang range, which offers one of the worlds oldest rock fossils and the much‑hyped tropical rainforest, are confident that the nature theme sells since it is also eco‑friendly. Currently‑undergoing moderate renovations following Lada’s entry to the hospitality industry here the resort has erected several billboards to promote the natural surroundings of the property, from wildlife inhabitants to the lush vegetation.
The billboards are a far cry from the conventional approach as they are aimed at educating tourist ‘ s about the island and not just advertising the facilities available at the resort. The signs placed all over the resort’s facade have become a welcome sight with their catchy words designed to arouse Interest among discerning tourists.
Besides its coffee house the resort has introduced a thirst quenching outlet, called the Seashell Beach Cafe and the Oyster Bar cum Lounge where a resident band serenades guests accompanied by the soothing sounds of waves rolling across the sandy beach. The growth of tourism has prompted two individuals in travel trade. Irshad Mobarak and Jurgen Zimmer, to settle down here are having fallen in love with the island and wanting to share their experience.
Irshad is fast becoming a local naturalist icon based on his experience of working with almost all the resorts here and his detailed knowledge. He strongly believes in the preservation of our eco‑system and lives by the principle that man should co-exist with and not dominate nature.
He leads by example picking up discarded mineral water bottles along his path. Becoming a member of his daily nature trails is like on a ferries wheel ride without the equipment as Irshad stops at two minutes interval to explain the circling bird species monkeys, trees, leaves and other flora and fauna along the path.
“Look there is a swallow, look here, good timber … these are the leaves that some researchers have taken for studies on cancer cure. Watch your steps the waterfall is ahead”. Those were the words he uttered during one of his exciting trails as he educate tourist while at the same time made a name for himself, to the extend that the National Geographic has looked him up for the happenings here.
Zimmer a German naturalist married a Kedahan is a permanent he is also out spoken about nature being part of tourism here and he has written a guide book to understate the myriad of nature attraction on the island. It is therefore hoped that the undivided commitment eco-tourism will become permanent feature of not only the Mutiara Burau Bay Resort but also the entire Island.