MIRI: The 35 clusters of homestays in Sarawak received 31,379 visitors and generated an income of RM4.31 million last year.
Assistant Minister for Tourism Datuk Lee Kim Shin said through intensified activities under the Malaysian Homestay Programme, Sarawak’s target of five million tourist arrivals this year could be achieved.
“These statistics prove that the homestay industry is a dynamic industry, one of the main attractions for tourists coming to Sarawak. And the best way for them to know better the cultures and traditions of the local communities is through the Malaysian Homestay programmes,” he said during the opening of a basic course on homestays yesterday.
Last year, a total of 4.517 million visitors came to Sarawak.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Tourism and Culture state director Suriya Charles Buas said Sarawak is the top five most active state in homestay programmes after Johor, Melaka, Selangor and Sabah. For the first five months of this year, the 187 homestay clusters nationwide received 148,978 visitors.
“The figure is an increase of 3 per cent compared with the same period last year. The income of homestays in January to May also increased to RM10,709,256, or 0.9 per cent from RM10,608,831 recorded during the same period in 2015,” he said.
He added that the homestays recorded a total of 22,431 foreign visitors during the same period, with Singaporeans topping the list at 10,082 or 44.9 per cent, followed by Japan (5,259) and Europeans (1,483).
Sarawak homestays recorded 1,131 foreign visitors, 45 per cent of whom were from Singapore and Indonesia.
A total of 71 homestay operators from Long Banga and Mulu in Miri Division; Durin in Sibu Division; Singai, Bau in Kuching Division and Kampung Lobang Batu, Serian Division are taking part in the five-day course.