Ministry of Rural Development helps promote homestay sector in Malaysia to boost economy, says deputy minister

Ministry of Rural Development Deputy Minister II Datuk Hasbi Habibollah (2nd left) plays ‘coconut bowling’ during the visit ma [email protected] Pulau Betong program at Sekolah Kebangsaan Tan Seri Awang Had Salleh at Balik Pulau on June 26, 2022. – Bernama pic

Sunday 26 June 2022 18:06 GMT

BALIK PULAU, June 26 – The Ministry of Rural Development (KPLB) is helping to promote homestays across the country to attract local and foreign tourists to boost the economy, Deputy Minister of KPLB II said Datuk Hasbi Habibobolah.

He said the initiative was also aimed at reviving the homestay sector affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“For more than two years, the pandemic has had a severe economic impact on homestay operators and some of them have had to close shop due to lack of tourists. We are confident that tourists will return and tourism activities involving homestays will be revived,” he told reporters after chairing the Visit My [email protected] Pulau Betong program at Sekolah Kebangsaan Tan Seri Awang Had Salleh, here today.

He said that in addition to using social media to promote homestays, KPLB is also spearheading the initiative at other events such as exhibitions organized by its agencies as well as the Malaysian Association of Agencies. trips and journeys (MATTA), exhibitions on entrepreneurship, carnivals of rural entrepreneurs. and others.

Hasbi said he believed these promotional activities could attract foreign tourists to come back as they had the experience of homestay here.

He also advised operators to improve the facilities made available on their premises to accommodate tourists.

As Balik Pulau is known for its durians, Hasbi said operators should use this to their advantage to meet the needs of tourists.

“Homestays have unique and unconventional business characteristics, to build a high-impact business, we need to evolve and evolve with technological developments,” he said.

Meanwhile, Hasbi said KPLB, through the Penang Regional Development Authority (Perda), has allocated RM4.45 million to the homestay tourism program in Penang since 2014, an initiative of the government aimed at protecting the interests of homestay operators in the state.

He said a total of 173 host families and participants involving 10 villages benefited from the allowance through promotion, training and orientation and management programs that could help the rural community generate income. additional.

He said the national homestay program is also supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) through its certification, recognition and promotional activities such as MATTA fair events. .

According to Hasbi, the total income of home stay participants across Penang is RM3.24 million with 38,000 domestic and international tourists since the program was introduced in 2014.

“Promotional activities for homestay tourism in Penang will not stop. We will continue to promote it using various platforms to encourage more domestic and overseas tourists to make homestays their vacation destinations,” he said. — Bernama

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