KOTA KINABALU: Homestay operators will have to follow a set of strict guidelines to ensure visitors will get the real experience of local living.
Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen said all homestay operators must occupy and cannot rent out a house to tourists under the homestay concept.
She said the operators must interact with their guests, teach them at least one local song and dance, and a special local delicacy so that tourists would get the real taste of the Malaysian experience.
“There are many tourists who want to experience more of Malaysians’ lives than having just a leisure and recreation visit,” Dr Ng told reporters on her first official working visit to Sabah where state officials gave her a briefing on tourism.
She said her ministry would be monitoring homestays to ensure that they follow the requirements to attract more tourists to the country.
She noted that Sabah had three very successful homestays – Walaitoku (Kundasang), Misowalai (Kinabatangan) and Misompuru (Kudat), and hoped that more would be developed for tourism.
She also said that her ministry would come up with programmes with the Human Resources Ministry to help unemployed graduates interested in tour guide work learn a foreign language.
It was important for tour guides to learn foreign languages like Korean, Japanese, French, Dutch or Arabic to cater to tourists from various countries, she said.
Dr Ng also visited the Tengku Abdul Rahman Park islands during her visit here yesterday.
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