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Homestay revenues may increase drastically

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Homestay Association (SHA) aims to increase the revenues of homestays in the State to RM10 million-RM20 million by 2025.Its president Djuanis Mogirong said it is not impossible to achieve this target provided there are strong support from the Federal Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, and the Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry to develop the rural tourism industry.“We can see a surge in tourist arrivals for homestays in the State, last year, with 70,083, as compared to 47,291 in 2017,” he said during a press conference, here, Thursday. “The trend is soaring upwards and we can clearly see that there is a big potential in developing rural tourism, especially homestays.

“The total receipts for homestays also witnessed a shocking increase to RM7.17 million, last year, from RM3.8 million in 2017.”Djuanis also disclosed that the homestays in the State are ranked top five in the country, with the exception of the top spot which was grabbed by a homestay in Pahang.Currently, there are 29 homestays in 50 villages, involving 394 operators in the State. These homestays offer some 687 rooms.Djuanis said the association had outlined several measures to achieve its target.“SHA would like to help more potential communities or villages to join homestay programmes to achieve our target of getting 50-100 homestays in the State by 2025,” he said.The association also hoped that homestays in Sabah can be registered for Kampungstay programme this year.“Kampungstay is at another level where certified operators can provide more rooms for guests and this can offer bigger advantage for rural tourism players in the State.

“Apart from that, we plan to hold an annual convention for homestays next year…it is a platform for international to converge and exchange information as well as share their success stories.”SHA, he said, has also discussed with Sabah Tourism Board (STB) to conduct the Visit Year Homestay Sabah 2022.Meanwhile, several homestays and community-based tourism associations made the State proud as they received international recognitions from two events, recently.Announcing this, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew cum Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister said Kadamaian Tourism Association, Kota Belud received the Asean Community-Based Tourism Standard, Misompuru Homestay, Kudat obtained the Asean Homestay Standard and Jari Jari Spa, Kota Kinabalu grabbed the Asean Spa Services Standard.The awards were presented by Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohammadin Ketapi at the Asean Tourism Ministers’ Conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Jan 18.“The second event was the World Homestay Organisation Summit for Tourism (World Host),” Liew said.Among the recipients were Misompuru Homestay, Seri Serbang Homestay, Mesilou Atamis Homestay, Tanak Nabalu Homestay, Walai Tokou Homestay and Taun Gusi Village Homestay.

“This proves that our local tourism players are able to fulfilled international standards for their services and facilities.“I hope these awards will help to motivate other homestays and community-based tourism associations to improve.”She also pledged the ministry’s commitment to support the progress of homestays in the State. – Ricardo Unto

Source: Daily Express | Feb 22, 2019