The Ecoteer Story
Ecoteer was founded in 2005 by marine biologist Daniel Quilter after a life-changing volunteering experience in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. On his return from an 8-month placement, Daniel started social enterprise Ecoteer.com, providing a platform for people interested in long term voluntourism globally.
Ecoteer.com is now a favourite among students, aspiring conservationists and career breakers looking for work experience in the ecotourism, environmental awareness and conservation sectors. Ecoteer.com supports many independent grassroots organisations in over 50 countries.
Support for Grassroots Projects
In 2010 Daniel and his wife Aida started Ecoteer Responsible Travel. The purpose was to assist projects that needed financial or manpower support. By developing meaningful volunteer and ecotourism experiences, these projects can continue and improve their impactful work. The Perhentian Turtle project was the first project to benefit. Today there are four projects in Marine and Rainforest Conservation. They are managed by our partner Fuze Ecoteer Outdoor Adventures.
Local Communities Benefit from Volunteer Activities
Fuze Ecoteer establishes project sites working alongside local communities and/or NGOs to create mutually beneficial outcomes. At each project site they offer education and alternative sources of income for the local communities. These local participants receive up to 35% of volunteer fees being given to them for services rendered. The programmes also provide donations and manpower to the NGOs that they work with. The project sites are all run to the same business model: self-sustainable projects funded by voluntourism, school groups and corporate programmes. Ecoteer Responsible Travel helps to sell the programmes in Malaysia and Indonesia.
We have two simple aims.
Provide our volunteers with meaningful experiences, opportunities to learn, and the chance to make a difference.
Bring as many benefits as possible to our host communities and the environment which surrounds them.
Humble but confident
We listen to everyone – most of the mini projects are from feedback and ideas we have received from volunteers and villagers. Listening is vital to us and then we take action, however we are confident we are going in the right direction. We host ecotourism students from the University Technology Malaysia who conduct annual external assessments of the impacts of our projects. Negatives are what make us stronger, positives are just for the ego.
We care about the environment, the local communities we work with and of course our volunteers. We always strive to do our best and more.
Impactful and with a bite
After the success of our small scale projects, we have been asked to play a significant role in developing Perhentian into a top Ecotourism destination. This is a huge honour and a sign of the respect that we are gaining from decision makers in the Perhentian Islands.
We adopt the United Nation’s World Tourism Organisation’s Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. The checklists the UN have created are the tools that help us measure our improvements, highlight areas where improvement is needed, and to communicate our efforts to travellers and relevant communities.