Christian Tan @ John
Chris's name is one that needs no introduction to all those in the tourism industry. Indeed many of those who have climbed up the ranks may all attribute a measure of their success to him.
He began his career as a tour guide and spent the last 5 years of his experience as a freelance guide. Upon personal recommendation he joined Yayasan Sabah in 2004 in the capacity of forest ranger and freelance conservationist. His job scope focused on the protection of the diverse wildlife species, rivers and forests. A self motivator by nature, he indulged his passion for the local flora and fauna through independent research and study. His areas of research encompass identification of plants for medicinal value, orchids, trees, aquatic ferns, wildlife and birds. This passion has since translated into exposure of Borneo’s rich biodiversity to both local and foreign members of academia and avid nature lovers.
By way of examples, from 2010 – 2012, Chris led groups of visitors from Scotland and America into local virgin tropical rainforests to open them to the fundamentals of forest identification and recognition of wildlife habitats.
His expertise was also heavily relied on when in 2010, he led a contingent of scholars from Kyoto university to the national heritage site of Imbak Canyon for the determination of wildlife activity among endemic species, types of trees available and their marketability and conducting of night walks for an encounter with the nocturnal animals.
Most worthy of mention among his many accomplishments is his pioneering of the “eco-tourism” concept. By drawing on his vast reservoir of knowledge, Yayasan Sabah was able to set in motion various initiatives in what was at that time a niche market. From 2006 to 2009 Chris spearheaded measures to assess the potential of eco-tourism. In 2010, the fruits of his labour led to the presentation of the eco-tourism concept to researchers from a select group of foreign and local universities. In an attempt to the keen demand for this new concept, Chris was also engaged in the training of rangers to be eco-tour guides.
An encounter with our “walking encyclopedia” a title he so rightly deserves will enchant, captivate and leave you richer in knowledge!!