Relax homestay licence requirements, chamber asks Tourism Ministry

LUNDU: The state Tourism Ministry is urged to relax the requirements for application of homestay licences as many find them difficult to meet.

In making this call, Dayak Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) deputy president Datuk Seri Celestine Ujang said many earnest entrepreneurs who were members of the chambers had brought up the matter, claiming that the requirements were too stringent.

He said the ministry should look at this matter urgently so that many potential homestay entrepreneurs would not lose out. Instead, they would help to contribute to the industry and at the same time, further boost the state’s tourism.

“In DCCI we received complaints from members because it is very difficult to apply for homestay licences. We urge the ministry to find ways to relax the requirement so that more would be able to participate,” said Celestine during Tanah Rimba Homestead’s soft opening in Senibong near here yesterday.

He said homestays played an important role in the state’s tourism industry because many tourists and visitors were adventurers and would want to see Sarawak’s nature up close and personal.

On that juncture, Celestine also urged the Tourism Ministry to help package the state’s tourism products to include homestays.

Meanwhile, Tanah Rimba Homestead owner Jonathan Manggun said although his homestay was not fully completed, it had received reservations from a group of more than 20 visitors from Kuala Lumpur who would be arriving next week.

His homestay, located on 10 acres about 15 minutes drive from Lundu town, was still be beautified.

A rest house is almost completed while another is still being built and is expected to be completed within a month.

“My sister Patricia Manggun and I are teaming up to beautify this place and to realize the dreams of our late parents. We are also helped by the rest of the family members. Our parents acquired this land in the 70s for the purpose of farming pepper and various fruit trees.

“We also prepared various programmes for our visitors like trekking up Gunung Gading, visiting numerous waterfalls along the way to Sematan namely the Jangkar waterfall, and going to the beachs in Lundu and Sematan to name a few,” said Jonathan.

Apart from housing visitors, the compound of Tanah Rimba Homestead has various fruit trees.

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