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Homestay a lucrative business — Gramong
Posted on : 17 May 2014  Source of News: The Borneo Post
 


(From third left) Suriya, Gramong and Ik Pahon at the conference dinner.

KUCHING: Homestay tourism is a lucrative income generator with total earnings of RM379,780 in the first four months of this year.

In saying this, Assistant Tourism Minister Datuk Gramong Juna added during the same period, 1,194 visitors had visited homestays in the state.

“To make the homestays successful, its operators, villagers, co-ordinators must work together in achieving their goal. They must be ready to ensure the cleanliness and safety of their village so that visitors feel comfortable and safe,” said Gramong at the closing of the inaugural Sarawak Homestay Operators Conference at Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) on Thursday night.

As such, the state government has allocated RM5,687,800 to upgrade homestay facilities in the state in the 10th Malaysia Plan.

For this year, RM11,301,000 is estimated to be channelled to implement upgrading works at five homestays – Homestay Kpg Pueh Sematan, Homestay Kpg Benuk Padawan, Homestay Annah Rais Padawan, Homestay Rh Nyuka Sarikei and Homestay Rh Bawang Assan Sibu, he said.

To further strengthen the promotional effort of the homestays, Gramong reminded the operators to be pro-active in fostering good ties with government agencies.

“I would also like to advise homestay operators to set-up smart sharing programmes with homestay operators in other parts of the state to increase income sources,” he said.

Gramong said the state’s tourism industry is continuing to boom with the income generated for last year at RM2,151,363,20, an increase of 33.47 per cent compared to RM1,611,914.03 in 2012. A total of 16,949 visitors have visited homestays in the state last year compared to 14,310 in 2012.

Earlier, the ministry’s permanent secretary Ik Pahon Joyik said that the state targets the tourism industry income for this year to be RM2.5-2.6 million.

Meanwhile, the three-day conference which started on Monday was participated by 31 homestay operators throughout the state. It was held to obtain feedback, sharing the latest homestay status and to co-ordinate homestay related events in the state.

Among those present was State Tourism and Culture Office director Suriya Charles Buas.