Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Visit Sarawak Year 2014: Longhouse Homestay Packages

In Kuching Malaysia traditional longhouses have been selected to be used for homestays. It was arranged under the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) to turn villages and longhouses into tourist attractions to benefit their residents.

They are listed in the ‘Longhouse Homestay Package Brochure’, which comes under the ‘Visit My Kampong (VMK) – Transforming kampungs into centres of tourism to accelerate rural development’ initiative, that was launched yesterday.

Assistant Minister for Tourism Datuk Talib Zulpilip, who launched the package at the Kuching International Airport (KIA), said this community-run tourism business was being done on a public-private partnership (PPP).

Capital allocation and training would be given to the selected villages and longhouses, he told reporters covering the event.

“This package is launched in conjunction with Visit Sarawak Year 2014 and Visit Malaysia Year 2014.

“We aim to attract 4.1 million tourists to our state this year. With active and aggressive promotions, we are confident of attracting more tourists based on trends recorded last year and the year before.”

The 13 selected longhouses are subdivided into Iban, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu longhouses.

The attractiveness of these longhouses to tourists was in fact given a shot in the arm on Oct 28 last year when Lonely Planet listed the Iban longhouse in its top 10 ‘Where to feel like one of the family’ places in its Best in Travel 2014.

The world’s number one guidebook publisher and global authority on travel Lonely Planet described Iban longhouses as a cosy place.

“Things can get cosy in an Iban longhouse. Members of Sarawak’s largest ethnic group traditionally live in communal, wonky, wooden structures that might be home to 30-odd families – and a few curious travellers.