Homestay operators in Sabah urged to apply for RM20,000 upgrade fund


KOTA KINABALU: Registered homestay operators in Sabah are being called on to apply for the RM20,000 fund for upgrading purposes from the state government.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew (pic), who is also state Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, said this would be made available through her ministry.

"We will process the applications when we receive them from licensed homestay operators," she said in a statement on Thursday (July 2).

The fund is part of a special RM10mil grant for the upgrade of homestay facilities and community-based tourism products under the Sabah New Deal as announced by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal recently.

Qualified homestay operators are certified and registered by the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac).

The state ministry and Sabah Tourism Board (STB) are represented in the certification committee under Motac.

Liew, who received a courtesy call from Batu Sapi MP Datuk Liew Vui Keong on Thursday (July 2), was briefed on tourism highlights in his parliamentary constituency.

He disclosed that efforts were underway to transform the Batu Sapi Heritage Park and Pasir Putih Beach into tourist hot spots.

"Our focus is on maintaining cleanliness of these natural attractions and resolving the problem of water pollution in the affected area, among other aspects," he added.

Vui Keong viewed the grant from the state government as good news for local tourism players, believing that domestic tourism would flourish again.

"I would encourage homestay operators in Sandakan, in general, and Batu Sapi, in particular, to avail themselves of the funding, so that they are ready to reopen their doors to visitors by the end of the recovery movement control order on Aug 31," said Vui Keong.

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