Meet Our Team - Albert Teo Chin Kion

Albert Teo Chin Kion

Managing Director


A graduate in Economics (Honours) from the University of London in 1977, Albert Teo has been in the tourism industry for the last forty three years since 1977. After fourteen years running a family hotel, he ventured out to set up his own inbound tour company, Borneo Eco Tours in 1991 and an ecolodge, Sukau Rainforest Lodge in 1995. In 2007 he set up his non profit society, Borneo Ecotourism, Solutions and Technologies (B.E.S.T) Society. In 2015,

His companies, Borneo Eco Tours and Sukau Rainforest Lodge, have won numerous international awards including Asia's Leading Green Hotel at the 17th World Travel Award 2010; the 2012 SKAL International Sustainable Development in Tourism Award for Tour Operators, awarded at the 73rd SKAL International Congress in Korea; the 2014 Wild Asia Responsible Awards - Best in Community Engagement and Development, the 2015 1st Place Honoree of ETC, USA (Educational Travel Community) Responsible Tourism Showcase, 2015 PATA Tourism Inspire Award for best independent accommodation, 2019 MATTA Best Tour Operator Award for Responsible Tourism, 2019 PATA Gold Award winner for Corporate Social Responsibility . In 2013, BEST Society received the UNWTO Ulysses Award for excellence and innovation in tourism in the NGO category in Madrid, Spain.

Albert Teo has organized five highly successful international ecotourism conferences in Malaysia including: the World Ecotourism Conference and Field Seminars in 1999, the first Asia Pacific Ecotourism Conference (APeco) in 2002, and the Borneo Ecotourism Conference (BEC) in 2005. He co-convened the Borneo Tourism Conference (BTC) in 2007, held in Kuching, with Professor Ross Dowling of Edith Cowan University, Australia in September 2007. He also convened his second and the 8th Asian Pacific Ecotourism Conference (APeco) on 16-18th of October 2014, in Kota Kinabalu.

In October 2006, he was appointed Adjunct Lecturer by Edith Cowan University ECU, Australia, for his contribution to the ecotourism industry, and in 2012, conferred a Fellow of the University for his work with the university as well as his philanthropy, community and social work. In March 2016 he was appointed an Adjunct Professor of University Malaysia Sabah UMS.

Albert has served in various capacity in the tourism industry including: Sabah Chapter Chairman of Malaysian Association of Tours and Travel Agents (MATTA) 1996/2001; Chairman of the Sabah Tourist Association 1985/86; Board of Advisors to The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) 2010/15, USA; Marketing Committee, Sabah Tourism Board 1996/2017. Albert was also a member of the finalist selection committee for the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) for five years. Albert is presently Charter Member / Vice Chair of Asian Ecotourism Network AEN and founding board member of Global Ecotourism Network GEN. In 2019, Albert was recognized with a Special Minister’s award in 2019 at the Sabah Tourism Award Night.

A keen photographer, he has also trekked over 1000km in Borneo, as well as published ten books; some of these include the best-selling "Sabah-Land of the Sacred Mountain", "Journey through Borneo", "Saving Paradise-The Story of Sukau Rainforest Lodge" co-authored with Carol Patterson, and the latest book "A Souvenir of Sabah Malaysian Borneo" .

Albert is presently focusing his energy on developing social entrepreneurship through his community/environment foundation, Borneo Ecotourism Solutions and Technologies, or BEST Society. Among the many projects is an integrated community based tourism project named Kiulu Farmstay and 7.7 acres of forested land which BEST Society has bought in 2017 under Borneo Land Conservancy BLC for the purpose of conservation as a wildlife sanctuary and a research centre under Sukau Ecotourism Research Centre SERC in Sukau.


Academic Qualifications


Bsc.Econ.(Hons) - University of London

Professional Qualifications


Adjunct Professor - University Malaysia Sabah


Fellow - Edith Cowan University, Australia

2007 - 2012

Adjunct Lecturer - Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia.

Tourist Guide - Ministry of Tourism Malaysia

Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), USA

Fellow - Hotel Catering & International Management Association (FHCIMA), UK


2006 - Current

Wild Borneo Boutique Sdn Bhd (formally known as Beauty Borneo Connects Sdn Bhd) - Managing Director

Kinabalu Resort and Spa Sdn Bhd - Chairman/Managing Director

Borneo Ecotourism Solutions and Technologies (BEST Society) - Chairman/Director

1995 - Current

Sukau Rainforest Lodge Sdn Bhd - Chairman/Managing Director

1991 - Current

Borneo Eco Tours Sdn Bhd - Chairman/Managing Director

2001 - 2006

Sukau Ecotourism Research & Development Centre - Director

1986 - 1991

Api Tours & Travel - Managing Director

2003 - 2007

Hotel Shangri-la, Kota Kinabalu - Director

1977 - 1986

Hotel Shangri-la, Kota Kinabalu - Executive Director

Voluntary Associations

2015 - Current

Global Ecotourism Network GEN

2015 - Current

Asian Ecotourism Network AEN

2007 - 2011

Sabah Cheshire Home - Committee

1996 - Current

Sabah Tourism Board - Marketing Committee

2009 - 2011

Sabah Tourism Consultative Council STCC - Committee

2003 - 2004

Sabah Society - Committee

2010 - 2012

The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), USA - Board of Advisors

1996 - 2014

The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), USA - Board of Advisors

2003 - 2005

Malaysian Association of Tours and Travel Agents Sabah Chapter (MATTA) - Vice Chairman

1996 - 2001

Malaysian Association of Tours and Travel Agents Sabah Chapter (MATTA) - Chairman

1991 - 1992

Malaysian Association of Tours and Travel Agents Sabah Chapter (MATTA) - Chairman

1985 / 1986

Sabah Tourist Association - Chairman

International Projects


Organising Chairman - Borneo Ecotourism Conference

2002, 2014

Organising Chairman - Asia Pacific Ecotourism Conference


Organising Chairman - Borneo Tourism Conference


Organising Chairman - East Asia and Pacific Regional Council of Cheshire Homes 10th Biennial General Meeting

2005 - 2010

Finalist Judging committee - Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, World Tourism and Travel Council


Organising Chairman - World Ecotourism Conference & Field Seminars

Books and Videos Published


Sabah - Land of the Sacred Mountain (video)


Journey through Borneo


Sabah - Land of the Sacred Mountain


A Guide to Sandakan


Journey through Sabah (video)


Saving Paradise


A Guide to Brunei Darussalem


Exotic Islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park


Images of Borneo


A Souvenir of Sabah Malaysian Borneo

Paper Presented

22 Aug 1996

Tapping Investment Incentives in the Tourism Sector - Operational aspect of applying for the special funds for tourism projects: A personal experience. Organised by Institute of Development Studies

12 Apr 1999

APEC Tourism Working Group Seminar on Environmentally Sustainable Tourism Accomodation. The Sukau Rainforest Lodge. Organised by the Office of the National Tourism, Australia in Cairns

3 - 4 May 2000

Training Workshop on planning and design for small scale ecotourism development projects: The Sukau Rainforest Lodge experience. Organised by Institute of Development Studies

26 - 30 Jun 2000

Workshop on Green Productivity and Ecotourism: The Sukau Rainforest Lodge experience organized by Asian Productivity Organisation, Japan in Bali on

15 - 17 Apr 2002

Managing Ecolodge in an ecologically sensitive area, Asia Pacific Regional Ecotourism Conference, Sheraton Fiji Resort, Nadi, Fiji

13 Jun 2002

Current and Future Challenges in Ecotourism, Issues and Implications for Sabah, Seminar on Global Economic Outlook and Challenges, Institute for Development Studies Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malays

15 - 18 Jul 2002

Sukau Ecotourism Research & Development Centre (SERDC),A Case Study on Ecotourism in Sabah, "21st Century Borneo - Issues in Development", Seventh Biennial International Conference, BORNEO RESEARCH COUNCIL, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

20 - 21 Mar 2003

Sustainable Nature Based Tourism in South - East Asia, Sukau Rainforest Lodge: A Case Study, American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA

27 Oct 2003

Global Ecotourism Outlook and Challenges, Transworld Institute of Technology, Douliu City, Republic of China

27 Oct 2003

Managing An Ecolodge, Sukau Rainforest Lodge: A case study, Transworld Institute of Technology, Douliu City, Republic of China

28 Aug 2004

Cultural Tourism in Malaysia, A sustainable option, Univesity Utara Malaysia, Sintok, Kedah, Malaysia

25 - 27 Oct 2004

Marketing Strategy of Ecotourism, Ecotourism in Taiwan: From Saying to Doing, Taiwan, Republic of China

25 - 27 Oct 2004

Practical Marketing Strategy of Ecotourism in Malaysia, (The Story of Borneo Eco Tours), Ecotourism in Taiwan: From Saying to Doing, Taiwan, Republic of China

28 Oct 2004

Managing An Ecolodge, Sukau Rainforest Lodge: A case study, Feng Chia University, Seatwen, Taichung, Taiwan, Republic of China

28 Jul 2005

Sabah Tourism Attractions, Sabah Theological Seminary, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

16 Sept 2005

Best Practice Eco and Wildlife Tourism: The Case of Borneo, Global Eco and Wildlife Tourism Seminar, Monkey Mia, Australia

16 Sept 2005

Best Practice Eco Accomodations: The case of Sukau Rainforest Lodge, Monkey Mia, Australia

29 Sept - 1 Oct 2005

The First International Ecotourism Business Forum, Pontianak, Indonesia

13 - 15 Aug 2006

Sukau Rainforest Lodge: The Challenges of Developing Wildlife Tourism, 2nd National Wildlife Tourism Conference, Fremantle, Western Australia

12 Sept 2006

Operating and Managing Sukau Rainforest Lodge: Issues and challenges, Tourism Workshop : Wanita UMNO Sabah, Pacific Sutera, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

2 - 5 Nov 2006

Creating, building, maintaining ecotourism facilities, 4th Asia Pacific Ecotourism Conference APeco 2006, Taman Negara, Pahang, Malaysia

11 - 14 Nov

Success stories in Ecotourism Business: Case Studies in Malaysian Borneo, 2nd International Ecotourism and Business Forum, Joyakarta, Indonesia

13 - 14 Mar 2007

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development UNCTAD :1st Asia-Pacific E-tourism for growth - Matching market efficiency and social inclusion. ICT for Sustainable Tourism: A case study on Borneo Eco Tours, Sutera Habour Resort, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

27 - 28 Jul 2007

Business Opportunities in Ecotourism, Sabah Women Entrepreneurs and Professionals Association (SWEPA), Pacific Sutera, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

1 May 2008

Borneo Ecotourism: Working with the Communities and Environment, Forum for Advocating Culture and Ecotourism FACET, Perth, Australia

2 May 2008

Borneo Ecotourism: Working with the Communities and Environment, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia

27 Sept 2008

Developing Sabah's Tourism Products and Brand, Creating a Blue Ocean Strategy : Developing Ecotourism as a Competitive Advantage, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

30 Oct - 1 Nov 2008

BIMP-EAGA Community Based Ecotourism Conference - Opportunities for Win-Win Community Based Ecotourism Partnerships : Investing in and Profiting from Partnering Community - Based Ecotourism Operations and Marketing, Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia

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