KUCHING: Every village in the state should consider the idea of homestays to boost their income, said Tourism and Culture Minister Dato Seri Mohammed Nazri Abdul Aziz.
“I encourage every village to take advantage of homestays, which is a draw among foreign tourists. Tourists prefer homestay experience where they can enjoy local cultures and daily lifestyle of the people.
“Villagers do not even have to change their lifestyle beyond their daily routine. They only have to continue doing what they do, such as fishing or farming. Tourists come to these homestays to experience this kind of daily living. In return, the villagers get to earn income from the homestays.
“In our ministry, we have one unit dedicated to helping people plan for successful homestays. We also have soft loans for those who need to restore or renovate old village house or longhouse for homestay use,” he said at the Satok Majlis Pemimpin Bersama Rakyat at Dewan Datu SK Merpati Jepang on Monday night.
Nazri unexpectedly turned up at the event hosted by PBB Satok branch to rally support for BN incumbent Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Nazri said Abang Johari is a close ally since he became the state Tourism Minister.
“I never miss visiting Satok every time there is a Sarawak state election. Abang Johari is a close friend and colleague of mine.
“The Borneo states are important icons for our country, wherever I go promoting tourism overseas as the Tourism and Culture Minister. The tourism industry in Sarawak and Sabah are strong because of their leaders who ensure development does not erode the natural environment and cultures of their people,” he said.
Nazri cautioned against voting for the Opposition to try them out like trying out new clothes as it may be detrimental to what Sarawak is enjoying now.
“BN is an institution that we inherit from our past leaders. Do not play around with the country leadership. Do not try like trying new clothes because many things we are protecting now will be at stake,” he warned.
Meanwhile, Abang Johari said that if he still remains the State Tourism Minister after May 7, there are many upgrading works that the ministry needs to embark on.
“Sarawakians are very creative in tourism business, so don’t worry Dato Seri, just give us the money.
“We have plans to do upgrading and restoration at Brooke Dockyard as well as our Kuching Waterfront.
“Also, as we have just upgraded this hall, which is a joint effort with Works Minister Dato Sri Fadillah Yusof. The upgrades included repainting works, roof repair and aircon installation. Next, I will work on upgrading SK Rakyat hall, if voters give me the power to continue my job as their elected representative for Satok,” he said.