Windfall for homestay operators in Sungkai, thanks to GE15 season

TANJUNG MALIM: It looks like the homestay operators in Sungkai are set for a windfall following a surge in demand in the Tanjung Malim parliamentary constituency during the 15th General Election (GE15) season.

Perak Homestay Association president Noradidah Mokhtar said homestays were the choice of members of the election machinery, as well as tourists making Tanjung Malim their weekend getaway.

"There is a constant demand for homestays in the Sungkai area from tourists, especially for weekends, as well as the election machinery that will be rolling into the town for the GE15. Some will be staying at the homestays until after the GE15 is over,” she told Bernama recently.

She said the homestay industry had a huge potential to be promoted as a tourism tool because it promotes village life and local culture, as well as sports activities like rafting.

"After the movement control order was lifted, the homestay industry in Perak has progressed. We just want to seek the provision of a better Internet network for homestay customers,” she said.

Meanwhile, homestay operator Sazali Sadikin hoped that there will be more incentives for industry players to build their own homestays, as well as support locals to increase their products.

Saadiah Mohammad, who has been operating homestays in Sungai Klah and Seberang Perak for the past 14 years, said homestay operators in the area are increasing their efforts to attract more foreign tourists by developing websites, in addition to providing transport services from nearby train stations.

Meanwhile, Perak Housing, Local Government and Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohammed Radzi said the state government would ensure the homestay industry becomes a serious source of income for locals.

She said this included promoting Muslim-friendly homestays to attract tourists from the Middle East, who have the potential to contribute high revenue.

"This time we have been authorised by the Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) Malaysia under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture regarding a recognition developed by ITC that is used by international countries, namely the Muslim Friendly Accommodation,” she said.

Nolee Ashikin hopes that industry players will not be left behind in seizing the opportunity to get the recognition and, so far, three homestay operators in the state have obtained the recognition. - Bernama

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