MALACCA: The income of homestay operators has increased by 9.5 per cent to more than RM17 million in the first eight months of this year compared to the same period last year, said Deputy Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin.
She said the total income involved 3,800 registered homestay operators nationwide, providing 5,354 rooms, with Pahang recording the highest income at RM7.3 million, with 87,580 local and foreign tourists.
This was followed by Sarawak with an income of RM2 million and 14,914 tourists, and Sabah with an income of RM1.6 million involving 14,617 tourists.
“Up till October this year, the ministry had registered 193 homestays involving 341 villages. The Malaysian homestay programme is highly acclaimed by the global tourism industry.
“In 2012, this programme was presented the Ulysses Award for public policy and governance, by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in Istanbul, Turkey,” she said when launching the ‘Citarasa Homestay Malaysia 2016 Carnival’ here.
Mas Ermieyati said the ministry would promote the country's homestay industry as it had great potential to be expanded as a source of income, particularly for the rural community.
She said the Malaysian Homestay Programme was the ministry’s initiative to boost the participation of rural folk in the community-based tourism and culture sector.
“The programme also enables tourists to experience living with the host families or homestay operators while going through the daily routine of village life and culture,” she added.
She also said that in conjunction with the 21st year of the implementation of the programme, this year the ministry decided to hold a homestay carnival with the theme “For Our Culture, Nature and Future”.
It was aimed at promoting homestay packages, small and medium industry products as well as highlighting the interesting activities offered by the operators that could attract more tourists.
The three-day carnival was held at Jalan Kota, Bandar Hilir, here.
Participated by 180 homestay operators nationwide, the carnival’s attractions included various exhibitions, the sale of food and items that represent each state as well as cultural shows and traditional games. – Bernama