Sunday, April 08, 2012

Ba'Kelalan Highland Cashing In On Homestay Programme

LAWAS -- The cool and serene Ba'Kelalan highland, renowned for its annual apple festival in the world tourism industry, is now eyeing the lucrative homestay programme.

The booming Sarawak homestay programme in the country has generated positive vibes among the remote Ba'Kelalan residents, here who want a piece of the pie in the growing tourism industry in the country.

Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit was quoted as saying in Parliament recently that revenue from the homestay programme in the country increased by 26.78 percent to RM15.7 million last year with tourist participation in the programme having increased by 29.8 percent to 254,981 people.

Dawos said the homestay industry had contributed toward higher tourist arrivals which saw an increase of 21.6 percent from 161,561 tourists in 2009 to 196,472 in 2010.

For Sarawak, the homestay craze is beginning to reap positive returns when homestay operators managed to rake in accumulated earnings of RM978,700 last year, an increase of over 25 per cent when compared to the RM780,950 in 2010.

Based on the Tourism Ministry's statistics, 12,612 tourists took up the homestay packages in the state in 2011, with 9,384 recorded in the previous year.

To date, a total of 409 homestay operators have been registered by the ministry in Sarawak providing 539 accommodation facilities and the accommodation provided is either in the form of individual traditional houses or longhouses.

The Sarawak Director of the Federal Tourism Ministry Office Esther Douglas said the homestay programme in Ba'Kelalan could be the best in the country if not in the state.

Continue reading at: Ba'Kelalan Highland Cashing In On Homestay Programme

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