Friday, July 05, 2013

Ibans’ colourful lifestyle recipe for success — Ujang homestay

SARIKEI: The time is right for the Ibans in particular to promote their colourful longhouse lifestyle through the ‘homestay’ programme

Saying this when officiating at the closing ceremony of a seminar organised by Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industries (DCCI) here yesterday, its deputy president Tan Sri Celestine Ujang said it was high time for the longhouse folk to earn a little bit of income from their rich heritage.

Ujang, who officiated at the closing of ‘Business Opportunities in Homestay Industry’ seminar, said that in the past, the longhouse folk would welcome tourists to their home to experience for free their lifestyle.

“In this era when we have to pay for virtually every kind of service, the longhouse folk make good of their rich and unique culture, colourful lifestyle, historical background, legends and traditional games to generate additional income for themselves.”

The many longhouses left under-occupied most of the time because the residents were working elsewhere and only returned during weekends and holidays should also be considered as a factor to encourage them (longhouse folk) to explore the potential of homestay concept.

As an organisation which strived to look after the interest of Dayak business community, Ujang said the DCCI encouraged longhouse folk to venture into homestay business due to its high economic potential.

He added that based on feedback received from the local tourism authority, all the 29 homestay businesses entities in the state were faring very well.

He said that DCCI was prepared to help the longhouse folk wanting to venture into the homestay business by providing technical assistance, advices and guidance through seminars and workshops and also enlightening them on the various forms of assistance and incentive from government for such venture.

He was pleased to note that many longhouse folk were keen to venture into the homestay business, adding that DCCI had received 20 requests to hold homestay seminars from throughout the state.