Wednesday, July 8

Homestay operators must meet requirement

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KUCHING: Homestay operators should ensure that their facilities meet the standard requirement of the Tourism Ministry before they are awarded recognition certificate.

This was to ensure that the facilities were of satisfactory standard that would ensure the quality of the homestay industry here was not jeopardised, stated Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) Sports and Recreational Department councillor Edward Kurik.

Edward who is the officer-in-charge of the Annah Rais homestay programme was responding to a question regarding the issues that some of the homestay business in Annah Rais were not given recognition certificates.

“Of the 13 homestay operators who took part in the ministry’s course, only nine had been given certificate. When the issue was highlighted, a check with the Tourism Ministry revealed that these four operators were not given recognition as their facilities did not meet the requirements.

“We can only advise these operators to improve their facilities up to the satisfactory level,” he highlighted at a press conference for the 2011 Padawan Raft Safari held at the MPP office near here.

Stating that the homestay industry has the potential to be a lucrative venture for the locals, Edward stressed that the homestay programme in Annah Rais managed to make an average of RM16,000 per month through admission fees alone.

Averaging about 200 visitors per month, he believes that the programme can be considered a goldmine. Also present was MPP chairman Lo Khere Chiang.

Touching on the state-level 2011 Annah Rais Gawai Tourism celebration to be held on Sept 3, Edward explained that the main objective for the event this year is to promote the homestay industry at the village.

To be organised by MPP, Tourism Ministry and the Village Safety and Development committee (JKKK), the event would showcase various traditional activities.

In the daytime, traditional games such as top spinning and blowpipe competition would take place together with various traditional music workshops. During the opening ceremony in the evening, various cultural shows and live performance by local artistes will take place.

Highlight of the night would be a cultural exchange performance between Kampung Annah Rais and Kampung Semban, situated at the Kalimantan-Sarawak border.

Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit who is also Mambong MP is slated to officiate at the event.