THE Penang Regional Deve-lopment Authority (Perda) will spend RM500,000 this year to upgrade facilities in villa-ges hosting homestay program-mes.
Perda chairman Datuk Hilmi Abdul Rashid said the money, from the Ninth Malaysian Plan (9MP), would be used to upgrade facilities in Mengkuang Titi in Bukit Mertajam, Pulau Aman and Sungai Sembilang in Juru, and Jalan Baru and Pulau Betong in Balik Pulau.
“The money will also be used to build new rest areas, community halls and other amenities in the kampung,” he said.
“There are 80 families partici-pating in the homestay program-mes in these villages.”
Hilmi was speaking after recei-ving 10,000 medicated herbal soaps worth RM200,000 from Golden Life Marketing Internatio-nal Sdn Bhd, a Bukit Mertajam-based company, at the Perda office in Butterworth.
The soaps for washing legs is for the flood victims in Johor.
Hilmi said Perda would request more funds if the allocation for the upgrading was insufficient.
“Families from other villages that want to participate in the homestay programme can contact Perda.
“They must tell us what is so unique about their kampung.
“We will then investigate whe-ther it is viable to host a homestay programme there,” he said.
Hilmi said the participating families now handle between 30 and 40 tourists monthly.