Viability checks on village home-stay plan


  • Nation
  • Friday, 19 Dec 2003

BY RENEE CHOONG

KUALA LUMPUR: Villages that are offering home-stays for tourists will be inspected from early next year to ensure the locations are conducive and have the potential to succeed as part of the tourism sector. 

Thus, the Culture, Arts and Tourism Ministry has asked the Malaysian Travel Business to work together with the state Tourism Action Council to spot-check and identify all the home-stay zones throughout the country. 

Minister Datuk Paduka Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir said the action taken would ensure only villages with clean and adequate facilities could be promoted through the ministry's web portal.  

“We will go all out to promote home-stay from 2004 to 2005. Thus, we want to see that all those kampung homes that offer home-stay to tourists have adequate facilities such as clean toilets, mosquito nettings and also have natural attractions for activities,” he said during the Malaysia Home-stay Association general meeting at the National Art Gallery here. 

The two-year commitment is to see that home-stay as an alternative concept can be a contributor to tourism. 

Abdul Kadir said it would be important to note that as long as domestic tourism was healthy, it would not be so damaging to the country’s tourism market on the whole. 

He also said through his numerous visits, he found the home-stay premises to be disappointing and did not have the necessary attractions to lure the adventure-seekers. 

“When tourists that come from the city go on a home-stay programme, they want to experience something new. 

“They will want to go kayaking on the streams, see the fruit orchards or be involved in the farm work,” he said. 

“Home-stay must have a unique appeal or it will not be attractive,” said Pempena chief operating officer Mohd Rosly Selamat. Pempena, a Tourism Malaysia subsidiary, helps run Malaysian Travel Business. 

The villagers who want to offer such programmes are urged to register with the association to receive proper guidance and also be advised on micro-credit facilities to help them in their set-up. 

There are now 1,721 village households throughout the country on the home-stay programme.  

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