Le Gao, Fiffy Hanisdah Saikim, Kalsum M. Yusah, Mahadimenakbar Mohamed Dawood, Homathevi Rahman, Nazirah Mustaffa, Nordiana Mohd Nordin, Nor Akmar Abdul Aziz


Entomological ecotourism has developed into a modern-day definition. The promotion of entomological ecotourism makes people gaining a better understanding of insects when they participated such activity. Depending on the eco-tour context, one may learn about a particular insects’ role in the ecosystem, insects’ connections with other wildlife, or the plants they depend on. Several studies reported the general preference of insects. However, there is still a lack of research for understanding the reason for similarities and differences in insects’ perceptions as a tourism product from a cultural aspect. This research aimed to study the key factors that affect tourists’ awareness and perception of insects based on their demographic profiles. The researcher used questionnaires, surveys, and interviews for data collection. The outcomes are illustrated in the form of conceptual map, quadrant report, spider-web configuration as well as tables. This cross-cultural study shows that there is little difference in perception and awareness between Malaysian and Non-Malaysian respondents. Respondents also show three main factors, such as ‘Knowledge’, ‘Experience’ and ‘Appearance’ that may cause different perceptions of insects other than their cultural background. Even though there are no significant differences between the respondents’ perceptions of insects, there are still some items among the respondents’ perceptions need to be considered. These items include the respondents’ perspective on diversity, behaviors, life cycle, and insects' appearance. Therefore, getting people to participate in entomological ecotourism, insects that fit tourists’ requirements such as beautiful, rare, and attractive, needs to be focused on. Hence, the findings are significant to share to ensure proper management of insects through entomological ecotourism or entotourism.

Full Text:



Agrawal, A. 2017. Monarchs and milkweed: A Migrating Butterfly, a Poisonous Plant, and Their Remarkable Story of Coevolution. Princeton University Press.

Baker, C. 2003. Australian glow worms–managing an important biological resource. Australasian Cave and Karst Management Association, INC Journal 53: 13-16.

Ballantyne, R., Packer, J. & Hughes, K. 2008. Environmental awareness, interests and motives of botanic gardens visitors: Implications for interpretive practice. Tourism Management 29(3): 439-444.

Balmford, A., Clegg, L., Coulson, T. & Taylor, J. 2002. Why conservationists should heed Pokémon. Science 295(5564): 2367-2367.

Basset, Y. & Lamarre, G.P. 2019. Toward a world that values insects. Science 364(6447): 1230-1231.

Beisel, U., Kelly, A.H. & Tousignant, N. 2013. Knowing insects: Hosts, vectors and companions of science. Science as Culture 22(1): 1-15.

Bixler, R.D., Floyd, M.F. & Hammitt, W.E. 2002. Environmental socialisation: Quantitative tests of the childhood play hypothesis. Environment and Behavior 34(6): 795-818.

Bögeholz, S. 2006. Nature experience and its importance for environmental knowledge, values and action: Recent German empirical contributions. Environmental Education Research 12(1): 65-84.

Boileau, E.Y. & Russell, C. 2020. Insect and human flourishing in early childhood education: Learning and crawling together. Research Handbook on Childhoodnature: Assemblages of Childhood and Nature Research 1323-1338.

Boster, J.S. & Johnson, J.C. 1989. Form or function: A comparison of expert and novice judgments of similarity among fish. American Anthropologist 91(4): 866-889.

Borgi, M. & Cirulli, F. 2015. Attitudes toward animals among kindergarten children: species preferences. Anthrozoös 28(1): 45-59.

Cardoso, P., Barton, P. S., Birkhofer, K., Chichorro, F., Deacon, C., Fartmann, T., ... & Hill, M. J. 2020. Scientists’ warning to humanity on insect extinctions. Biological Conservation 242: 108426.

Chen, X., Feng, Y. & Chen, Z. 2009. Common edible insects and their utilization in China. Entomological Research 39(5): 299-303.

Chung, A.Y.C., Khen, C.V., Unchi, S. & Binti, M. 2002. Edible insects and entomophagy in Sabah, Malaysia. Malayan Nature Journal 56(2): 131-144.

Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. 2017. Research Design. 5th Edition. Los Angeles: Sage Publication, Inc.

Daw, T. I. M., Brown, K., Rosendo, S. & Pomeroy, R. 2011. Applying the ecosystem services concept to poverty alleviation: the need to disaggregate human well-being. Environmental Conservation 38(4): 370-379.

Ernst, C., Vinke, K., Giberson, D. & Buddle, C.M. 2013. Insects in education: Creating tolerance for some of the world’s smallest citizens. The Management of Insects in Recreation and Tourism 289-305.

Ewert, A., Place, G. & Sibthorp, J. 2005. Early-life outdoor experiences and an individual’s environmental attitudes. Leisure Sciences 27(3): 225-239.

Feng, Y., Chen, X.M., Zhao, M., He, Z., Sun, L., Wang, C.Y. & Ding, W.F. 2018. Edible insects in China: Utilisation and prospects. Insect Science 25(2): 184-198.

Fiffy H.S., Le, G., Mahadimenakbar, M.D., Kalsum, M.Y., Asfarina, I., Muhammad Shafiq, H., Aqilah, A.A.R., Norradihah, I., Noor Izwan, A., Mohammad Zulhusni, Z., Nordiana, M. N. & Zulhazman, H. 2020. Tourists’ perceptions of insects as the determinants of insect conservation through entomological ecotourism. Journal for Tropical Biology and Conservation 17: 79-95.

Fortnam, M., Brown, K., Chaigneau, T., Crona, B., Daw, T.M., Gonçalves, D., ... & Schulte-Herbruggen, B. 2019. The gendered nature of ecosystem services. Ecological Economics 159: 312-325.

Gao, L., Ak Mohd Rafiq, A.M., Kalsum, M.Y., Nor Akmar, A.A., Awangku Hassanal Bahar, P.B., Nordiana, M.N., Mahadimenakbar, M.D. & Fiffy, H.S. 2021. Entotourism potential in Sabah, Malaysia: A Tourists’ perspective. Cogent Social Sciences 7:1.

Gullan, P.J. & Cranston, P.S. 2014. The insects: an outline of entomology. John Wiley & Sons.

Gurung, A.B. 2003. Insects–a mistake in God’s creation? Tharu farmers’ perception and knowledge of insects: A case study of Gobardiha Village Development Committee, Dang-Deukhuri, Nepal. Agriculture and Human Values 20(4): 337-370.

Hayati, D. & Minaei, K. 2015. Investigation of entomophobia among agricultural students: the case of Shiraz University, Iran. Journal of Entomological and Acarological Research 47(2): 43-45.

Hunter, M.R. & Hunter, M.D. 2008. Designing for conservation of insects in the built environment. Insect Conservation and Diversity 1(4): 189-196.

Huntly, P.M., Van Noort, S. & Hamer, M. 2005. Giving increased value to invertebrates through ecotourism. South African Journal of Wildlife Research-24-month delayed open access 35(1): 53-62.

Iniesta-Arandia, I., García-Llorente, M., Aguilera, P.A., Montes, C. & Martín-López, B. 2014. Socio-cultural valuation of ecosystem services: uncovering the links between values, drivers of change, and human well-being. Ecological Economics 108: 36-48.

Ismail, N.A. & Mohamed, M. 2014. Ethnoentomological knowledge documentation of indigenous people in Peninsular Malaysia. Serangga 19(1): 37-50.

Johnson, D.V. 2010. The contribution of edible forest insects to human nutrition and to forest management. Forest insects as food: Humans bite back pp 5.

Kawahara, A.Y. 2007. Thirty-foot telescopic nets, bug-collecting video games, and beetle pets: Entomology in modern Japan. American Entomologist 53(3): 160-172.

Kawahara, A.Y., & Pyle, R.M. 2012. Chapter 9: An appreciation for the natural world through collecting, owning and observing insects. In Lemelin, R.H. (ed.). The Management of Insects in Recreation and Tourism, pp. 138-152. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lau, J.D., Hicks, C.C., Gurney, G.G., & Cinner, J.E. 2018. Disaggregating ecosystem service values and priorities by wealth, age, and education. Ecosystem Services 29: 91-98.

Laverack, G. 2006. Evaluating community capacity: Visual representation and interpretation. Community Development Journal 41(3): 266-276.

Lemelin, R.H. 2007. Finding beauty in the dragon: the role of dragonflies in recreation and tourism. Journal of Ecotourism 6(2): 139-145.

Lemelin, R.H. 2013. The management of insects in recreation and tourism. Cambridge University Press.

Lemelin, R.H., Harper, R.W., Dampier, J., Bowles, R. & Balika, D. 2016. Humans, insects and their interaction: A multi-faceted analysis. Animal Studies Journal 5(1): 65-79.

Lemelin, R.H., Dampier, J., Harper, R., Bowles, R. & Balika, D. 2017. Perceptions of insects: A visual analysis. Society & Animals 25(6): 553-572.

Leandro, C. & Jay-Robert, P. 2019. Perceptions and representations of animal diversity: Where did the insects go? Biological Conservation 237: 400-408.

Leximancer. 2018. Leximancer user guide: Release 4.5.

Lin, X., McKenna, B., Ho, C.M. & Shen, G.Q. 2019. Stakeholders’ influence strategies on social responsibility implementation in construction projects. Journal of Cleaner Production 235: 348-358.

Losey, J.E. & Vaughan, M. 2006. The economic value of ecological services provided by insects. Bioscience 56(4): 311-323.

Muhamad, D., Okubo, S., Harashina, K., Gunawan, B. & Takeuchi, K. 2014. Living close to forests enhances people׳ s perception of ecosystem services in a forest–agricultural landscape of West Java, Indonesia. Ecosystem Services 8: 197-206.

Noriega, J.A., Hortal, J., Azcárate, F. M., Berg, M. P., Bonada, N., Briones, M. J., ... & Moretti, M. 2018. Research trends in ecosystem services provided by insects. Basic and Applied Ecology 26: 8-23.

Oberhauser, K., & Guiney, M. 2009. Insects as flagship conservation species. Terrestrial Arthropod Reviews 1(2): 111-123.

Oteros-Rozas, E., Martín-López, B., González, J.A., Plieninger, T., López, C. A., & Montes, C. 2014. Socio-cultural valuation of ecosystem services in a transhumance social-ecological network. Regional Environmental Change 14(4): 1269-1289.

Saikim, F.H., Nordin, N.M., Zakaria, M.Z., Anas, N.I., Ismail, N., Rahman, A.A.A…………& Hamzah, Z. 2020. Tourists’ Perceptions of Insects as the Determinants of Insect Conservation through Entomological Ecotourism. Journal of Tropical Biology & Conservation (JTBC) 17: 79-95.

Sánchez-Bayo, F. & Wyckhuys, K.A. 2019. Worldwide decline of the entomofauna: A review of its drivers. Biological Conservation 232: 8-27.

Schutze, G.E., & Jacobs, R.F. 2009. The camper’s uninvited guest. In Schlossberg, D. (ed.), Infections of Leisure. 4th Edition, pp 97-110. Washington, DC: ASM Press.

Shahriari-Namadi, M., Tabatabaei, H.R. & Soltani, A. 2018. Entomophobia and Arachnophobia Among School-Age Children: A Psychological Approach. Shiraz E-Medical Journal 19(7): e64824.

Snaddon, J.L., & Turner, E.C. 2007. A child’s eye view of the insect world: perceptions of insect diversity. Environmental Conservation 33-35.

Snaddon, J.L., Turner, E.C. & Foster, W.A. 2008. Children’s perceptions of rainforest biodiversity: which animals have the lion’s share of environmental awareness? PLoS One 3(7): e2579.

Sodhi, N.S., Koh, L.P., Brook, B.W. & Ng, P.K. 2004. Southeast Asian biodiversity: An impending disaster. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 19(12): 654-660.

Stewart, A.J. & New, T.R. 2007. Insect conservation in temperate biomes: Issues, progress and prospects. In. Stewart, A.J.A.; New, T.R. & Lewis, O.T. (eds.). Insect Conservation Biology, pp. 1-33. , Wallingford, UK: CABI Publishing.

Stork, N.E., McBroom, J., Gely, C. & Hamilton, A.J. 2015. New approaches narrow global species estimates for beetles, insects, and terrestrial arthropods. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112(24): 7519-7523.

Stork, N.E. 2018. How many species of insects and other terrestrial arthropods are there on Earth? Annual Review of Entomology 63: 31-45.

Sun, X., Jiang, K., Chen, J., Wu, L., Lu, H., Wang, A. & Wang, J. 2014. A systematic review of maggot debridement therapy for chronically infected wounds and ulcers. International Journal of Infectious Diseases 25: 32-37.

Tan, H.S.G., Fischer, A.R., Tinchan, P., Stieger, M., Steenbekkers, L.P.A. & van Trijp, H.C. 2015. Insects as food: Exploring cultural exposure and individual experience as determinants of acceptance. Food Quality and Preference 42: 78-89.

Vanbergen, A.J. & Initiative, T.I.P. 2013. Threats to an ecosystem service: Pressures on pollinators. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 11(5): 251-259.

Vodouhê, F.G., Coulibaly, O., Adégbidi, A. & Sinsin, B. 2010. Community perception of biodiversity conservation within protected areas in Benin. Forest Policy and Economics 12(7): 505-512.

Woods, B. 2000. Beauty and the beast: Preferences for animals in Australia. Journal of Tourism Studies 11: 25-35.

Yang, Y.E., Passarelli, S., Lovell, R.J. & Ringler, C. 2018. Gendered perspectives of ecosystem services: A systematic review. Ecosystem Services 31: 58-67.

Yen, A.L., Hanboonsong, Y. & Van Huis, A. 2013. The role of edible insects in human recreation and tourism. The Management of Insects in Recreation and Tourism, pp 169-185.

Yi, C., He, Q., Wang, L. & Kuang, R. 2010. The utilisation of insect resources in Chinese rural area. Journal of Agriculture Science 2(3):146-154.

Zoderer, B.M., Tasser, E., Erb, K.H., Stanghellini, P.S.L. & Tappeiner, U. 2016. Identifying and mapping the tourists perception of cultural ecosystem services: A case study from an Alpine region. Land Use Policy 56: 251-261.


  • There are currently no refbacks.