Mr Albert Teo Chin Kion

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, Sukau Rainforest Lodge became a charter member of National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World.

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 accomodation, 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. Awards

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.

Last Updated : 16th July 2020

Academic Qualifications

1. Bsc.Econ.(Hons) -University of London 1977

Professional Qualifications

1. Fellow - Hotel Catering & International Management Association (FHCIMA), UK
2. Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA), USA
3. Tourist Guide - Ministry of Tourism Malaysia
4. Adjunct Lecturer - Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia.2007 - 2012
5. Fellow - Edith Cowan University, Australia2012
6. Adjunct Professor - University Malaysia Sabah2016


1. Hotel Shangri-la, Kota Kinabalu
  • Executive Director1977 - 1986
  • Director2003 - 2007
2. Api Tours & Travel - Managing Director 1986 - 1991
3. Sukau Ecotourism Research & Development Centre SERDC - Director 2001 - 2006
4. Borneo Eco Tours Sdn Bhd - Chairman/Managing Director 1991 - Current
5. Sukau Rainforest Lodge Sdn Bhd - Chairman/Managing Director 1995 - Current
6. Borneo Ecotourism Solutions and Technologies (BEST Society) Chairman/Director 2006 - Current
7. Kinabalu Resort and Spa Sdn Bhd - Chairman/Managing Director 2006 - Current
8. Wild Borneo Boutique Sdn Bhd (formally known as Beauty Borneo Connects Sdn Bhd) - Managing Director 2006 2006 - Current

Voluntary Associations

1. Sabah Tourist Association - Chairman1985/1986
2. Malaysian Association of Tours and Travel Agents Sabah Chapter (MATTA)
  • Chairman1991 - 1992
  • Chairman1996 - 2001
  • Vice Chairman2003 - 2005
3. The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), USA
  • Board of Advisors1996 - 2014
  • Board of Advisors2010 - 2012
4. Sabah Society - Committee 2003 - 2004
5. Sabah Tourism Consultative Council STCC - Committee 2009 - 2011
6. Sabah Tourism Board - Marketing Committee 1996 - present
7. Sabah Cheshire Home - Committee 2007 - 2011
8. Asian Ecotourism Network AEN 2015 - present
9. Global Ecotourism Network GEN 2015 - present

International Projects

1. Organising Chairman - World Ecotourism Conference & Field Seminars1999
2. Organising Chairman - Borneo Ecotourism Conference2005
3. Organising Chairman - Borneo Tourism Conference2007
4. Finalist Judging committee - Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, World Tourism and Travel Council2005 - 2010
5. Organising Chairman - East Asia and Pacific Regional Council of Cheshire Homes 10th Biennial General Meeting 2010
6. Organising Chairman - Asia Pacific Ecotourism Conference2002, 2014

Books and Videos Published

1. Sabah - Land of the Sacred Mountain1988
2. Exotic Islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park1989
3. Sabah - Land of the Sacred Mountain (video)1990
4. A Guide to Sandakan1990
5. A Guide to Brunei Darussalem1992
6. Journey through Sabah (video)1993
7. Journey through Borneo1994
8. Images of Borneo1996
9. Saving Paradise2005
10. A Souvenir of Sabah Malaysian Borneo2008

Paper Presented

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

22nd August 1996

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

12th April 1999

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

3rd-4th May 2000

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

26-30th June 2000

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

15-17th April 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, Malaysia

13th June 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

15 -18 July 2002

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

20-21st March 2003

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

27th October 2003

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

27th October 2003

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

28th August 2004

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

25 - 27 October 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

25 - 27 October 2004

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

28th October 2004

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

28th July 2005

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

16th September 2005

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

16th September 2005

The First International Ecotourism Business Forum, Pontianak, Indonesia

29th September - 1st October 2005

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

13 - 15 August 2006

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

12th September 2006

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

2-5th November 2006

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

11-14th November

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

13-14th March 2007

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

27-28th July 2007

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

1st May 2008

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

2nd May 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

27th September 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

30 October - 1 November 2008

Malaysia Tourism Symposium, New Challenges and Directions- Trends affecting ecotourism in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur

15th Jan 2009

2nd Annual Environment Conference - The Malaysian Ecotourism Industry: Creating value with the gifts of Nature, Kuala Lumpur

24th-25th February 2009

World Ecotourism Conference: Public-Private Partnership: The Private sector Perspective, Vientiane, Laos

14-17th July 2009

UNEP Business and Industry Global Dialogue: 3rd Business and the 2010 Biodiversity Challenge Conference : The Story of Borneo Eco Tours: Integrating Biodiversity Conservation in Ecotourism Business. Jakarta, Indonesia

30th November - 2nd December 2009

Sarawak Tourism Players Capacity Building Workshop: Exploring New Frontiers, Managing Challenges: Synergizing the role of the private and public sector, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

15- 17th December 2009

2nd Global Geotourism Conference: Geotourism Attractions of Sabah, Mulu, Sarawak, Malaysia

17-20th April 2010

Training Course on Integrated Waste management at Resorts, Hotels and Restaurants: 'A Successful Example in Ecotourism' and 'Marketing Strategies of Green Tourism', Nadi, Fiji

21-25 June 2010

Terengganu Eco & Marine Tourism Conference (TEMCO): 'Integrating Biodiversity Conservation and Community Development through Ecotourism: The Borneo Eco Tours Story', Marang, Terengganu, Malaysia

1st November 2010

ASEAN-Japan Centre & Sabah Tourism Board: 'Seminar on Sustainable Development of Tourism' Destination: Borneo Eco Tours Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

18th FebruarY 2011

Ecotourism & Sustainable Tourism Conference ESTC, Driving Change in Global Tourism: "From Profitable Businesses to Community Projects", Hilton Head Island, SC, USA

19-21 September 2011

Coral Triangle Initiative Regional Business Forum: Innovative Solutions Today for Sustainable Resources Tomorrow - "Ecotourism, Environment and Communities". Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

October 2011

Driving Change in Global Tourism: 'From Profitable Business to Community Projects', Destination New South Wales, Australia Martin Place, Sydney, Australia

24th-25th February 2009

ASEAN and OCEANIA Tourism Forum: Ecotourism in the Asia Pacific Region: 'The Story of Borneo Eco Tours/ Sukau Rainforest Lodge/BEST Society', Sydney, Australia

7 November 2011

The National Tourism Seminar 2011: "Tourism Imperatives: The Deliverables of a High Valued Malaysian Experience", The Wonders of Borneo: Developing Tourism Markets in Sabah & Sarawak, Kuala Lumpur

21 November 2011

Secrets of Sabah, Orion Expedition Cruises

30th January 2012

Saving Paradise, Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, Sabah, Orion Expedition Cruises

3rd February 2012

From Charity to Social Entrepreneurship, BEST Society, Orion Expedition Cruises

5th February 2012

Ecotourism in Asia: The Story of Borneo Eco Tours/Sukau Rainforest Lodge, FACET, Edith Cowan University, Mt Lawley Campus, Perth, Australia

23rd August 2012

Driving Change in Global Tourism: From Profitable business to community projects, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia

24th August 2012

Ecotourism Best Practices: Case studies from Borneo, Forum Advocating Culture and Ecotourism Conference FACET, Broome, Australia

28th August 2012

International Conference on Heart of Borneo +5 and Beyond: Shaping and Nurturing Sabah's Future Together, Facilitator on Tourism, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

6-7th November 2012

Asia Pacific Ecotourism Conference 2012, Penang, Malaysia. Back to mother nature; Challenges of Ecotourism, Panelist

28-30th November 2012

Iskandar Malaysia National Ecotourism Summit, Johore Bahru, Malaysia. Value Creation in Ecotourism: From Principles to Practice

16-18th December 2012

Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference: "From Charity to Social Entrepreneurship", Nairobi, Kenya

Asia Pacific Tourism, Hospitality and Technology Conference APTHAT. "Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism: Potentials, Pitfalls and Proposals". Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

21st November 2013

Asia Pacific Geotourism Conference. Challenges and Opportunities: Developing Geotourism Attractions and Tours in Sabah. Hong Kong

30th November 2013

8th Asia Pacific Ecotourism Conference APeco2014, Adding Value through Ecotourism Development, Marketing Ecolodges, Pacific Sutera Resort, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

16-18th October 2014

8th Asia Pacific Ecotourism Conference APeco2014, Adding Value through Ecotourism, Developing an Ecolodge, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

16-18th October 2014

Creating Competitive Advantage through Responsible Tourism Practices, ITB Asia Clinics, Sands Expo and Convention Center, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

30th October 2014

Pioneering Sustainable Work Among the Poor, The story of Borneo Eco Tours, Malaysia Care, Kota Kinabalu

14 March 2015

International Conference on Natural Resources, Tourism and Services Management (ICNTS) Ecotourism business and sustainability: Ecotourism business and sustainability: Issues and Challenges, Promenade Hotel, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

14 -16 April 2015

Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Public Organization) DASTA CBT Forum Redesign CBT Thailand: Collaborate We CAN, Bangkok, Thailand

4 June 2015

Institute for Rural Development(INFRA) Sabah, Ministry of Rural and Regional Development, Sabah Homestay Development Course, TH Hotel, Kota Kinabalu Sabah

23-27th August 2015

2015 Global Eco Asia - Pacific Tourism Conference, Navigating for Success, From Ecolodge to National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, Rottnest Island, Western Australia

17 - 19 November 2015

Asia Forest Cooperation Orgaisation (AFoCo), Training Course on Forest Based Ecotourism, Community Involvement and Capacity Building, Marriot Mulu Resort & Spa, Sarawak, Malaysia

1st December 2015

Asia Forest Cooperation Orgaisation (AFoCo), Training Course on Forest Based Ecotourism, Program, Activities and Infrastructure Development, Marriot Mulu Resort & Spa, Sarawak, Malaysia

1st December 2015

Taiwan Ecotourism Association 15th anniversary celebration, Taipei, Taiwan: Ecotourism in Borneo - My Journey

28-30th April 2016

University of Malaysia Sabah: Ecotourism in Borneo: Issues, Challenges and my Journey, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

10th May 2016

Malaysia Technical Cooperation Program MTCP, Ecotourism Development & Promotion - Its Impact on Culture, Nature and Community

16th May 2016

Malaysia Technical Cooperation Program MTCP, Ecotourism Marketing & Promotion Plan: Critical Success Factors, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

18th May 2016

Kingdom Economy for social change workshop: Alleviating Poverty through Wealth Creation: From Charity to Social Entrepreneurship. Sabah Theological Seminary.

14-16th October 2016

9th Asia Pacific Ecotourism Conference APeco16. Riverside Majestic Hotel, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. SUCCESS STORIES: Components of ecotourism: Sukau Rainforest lodge and BEST Society.

21-23rd October 2016

Wildlife Tourism Conference, South Australia: Running an ecolodge on the Kinabatangan River: Challenges and Opportunities.

7th Nov 2016

South Australia Tourism Industry Council SATIC. "Working with communities to develop ecotourism in general and wildlife tourism in particular".

8th Nov 2016

International Ecotourism Forum: My Journey from Ecotourism to Social Entrepreneurship Rose Hotel, Banbury, Australia.

17th November 2016

Asian Strategic and Leadership Institute ASLi. Entrepreneurship and Partnership in Nation Building. Rethinking CSR : Building Lasting Legacies, Sunway Resort and Spa, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

29th November 2016

Business South West, Pemberton. "Empowering Communities: Borneo Eco Tours' Experience".

April, 2017

Tourism Western Australia/Forum Advocating Cultural & Ecotourism Inc (FACET), Perth, Australia. GIVING BACK. Tourism's Social Entrepreneurship.

April, 2017

Subic Ecotourism Festival, Philippines. Ecotourism: A Natural for ASEAN.

May 29-1st June 2017

Seminar Pelancongan & Perhotelan Hijau, Kolej Universiti Islam Melaka, Malaysia "Seminar Pelancongan & Perhotelan Hijau" .Kolej Universiti Islam Melaka (KUIM) ."The Definition and Understanding of Green Tourism".

23rd August 2017

International Conference on Heart of Borneo. A Decade of Heart of Borneo Initiative: Accomplishments and the Way Forward. Ecotourism Development: Community Based Tourism in the Heart of Borneo, Magellan Sutera Resort, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.

24-25th October, 2017

"Infinite Discovery" - Nature Travel Awards Ceremony 2017, Shanghai, China. The Borneo Eco Tours Experience.

15th-21st November, 2017

Ecotourism Development: Community Based Tourism in the Heart of Borneo, Huating Hotel, Shanghai

November, 2017

Sustainable Tourism and Forest Management in the Asia-Pacific Region, Jeju-do, Republic of Korea

22nd March 2018

Department of Biodiversity, Conservation & Attractions, Perth, Western AustraliaForum Advocating Cultural & Ecotourism Inc (FACET), Perth, Western Australia. Geotourism in Sabah

14 May 2018

2018 International Conference on Ecotourism for Poverty Alleviation and Sustainable Development, Philippines

14-16th August 2018

ISSUES AND CHALLENGES IN MANAGING TOURISM RESOURCES SUSTAINABLY IN SABAH: NGO's Perspective on Sustainable Management of Community Tourism Products. Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Institute for Development Studies.

6th September 2018

International Forum on Korea Rural Tourism Resources: Developing Creative Tourism as a Tourism Product, CONRAD SEOUL Hotel, Korea

10-13th September 2018

The Long Run: Development of Social Entrepreneurship in Community. Wanas, Sweden.

3rd October 2018

Global Eco Asia Pacific Ecotourism Conference; The 4Cs of Borneo Eco Tours Group: Commerce, Culture, Community and Conservation. Townsville, Queensland, Australia.

26-28th November 2018

AEN Taiwan Ecotourism Conference 2019: “Respecting Indigenous People in Ecotourism”

19th January 2019

Bhutan Economic Forum for Innovative Transformation: Economic Empowerment Through Ecotourism - Thimphu, Bhutan

16-18 July 2019

Bhutan Economic Forum for Innovative Transformation: Community Empowerment Through Social Entrepreneurship - Thimphu, Bhutan

16-18 July 2019

BTRC Enhancing Profitability Through Sustainable Growth And Practices In Travel And Tourism: Embracing The Global Sustainable Standards. “Building Your Brand For Sustainability As A Nature Lodge” - Hilton Hotel, Kota Kinabalu.

17-18th October 2019

Eradication of Poverty Through Social Entrepreneurship: A Case Study of B.E.S.T. Society


The Concept and Practice of Community Based Tourism - CTRE, Asian Tourism International College(ATI) Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

21st February 2020