SANTUBONG: After winning Best Homestay during the Sarawak Hornbill Tourism Awards 2009/2010 and taking third place in the Best Homestay category during the national-level One District One Industry (SDSI) showcase in 2012, Santubong Homestay is adding one more feather in Sarawak’s cap with its latest nomination, the Asean Homestay Standard.
According to its coordinator Jamilah Shukri, Santubong Homestay made it to the Top 10 list out of 181 homestays in Malaysia to be nominated in that category.
“Those that have been nominated will then be judged accordingly to criteria set to be selected as the winner where the award will be handed out in the Phillippines in January next year during the Asean Tourism Forum,” said Jamilah.
The Asean Tourism Forum (ATF) is an annual tourism event organised by Asean member states while the Asean Homestay Standard is a new category to be introduced next year, said Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC) senior principal assistant secretary Norsiah Patah.
For ATF 2016, all ten Asean countries need to nominate five of their best homestays.
“As for Malaysia, Santubong Homestay was one of the homestays chosen because it offers a unique experience to visitors as well as other factors that contributed to its success including the cleanliness and wonderful hospitality,” she added.
Norsiah also added that the ministry has introduced a new programme known as the ‘Kampung Stay’ recently launched in Temerloh, Pahang.
The Kampung Stay concept is an extension of the homestay programme.
While the homestay programme usually has at least 10 houses in one village and tourists staying with their host families, the trend of visitors and tourists who prefer more privacy but still want to experience the homestay experience gave birth to the Kampung Stay concept where “they will be staying in empty houses without any host family but can still join all the activities by the homestay so that is why we call it the Kampung Stay.”
For Pantai Damai assemblyman Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, the achievement means a lot to the State especially those who reside in Santubong.
“I hope that Santubong Homestay will also continue to associate with more partners as it is a good way to be able to promote the homestay and place Santubong better on the world map. Hopefully when people mention the name Santubong, they will remember Mount Santubong first, the village itself second, and last but not least, the Santubong Homestay.
“I also hope that the Santubong Homestay can be one of the leaders in homestay activities here in Sarawak,” said Abdul Rahman at the Malay Mock Wedding Ceremony organised by Santubong Homestay on December 19 at the homestay, adding that Santubong has been well known for many years as one of the main landmarks here in Sarawak in the heart of Borneo.
Also attending the ceremony were representatives from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC), Ministry of Tourism Sarawak, Sarawak Information Systems Sdn Bhd (Sains), Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) and Swinburne Sarawak.
For more information on Santubong Homestay, call 019-8879495 (Jamilah) or log on to http://www.go2homestay.com/santubong-homestay.