[The Star] Tourism Ministry pushes homestay concept

18 03 2009

~ REPORTS BY LEE YUK PENG, ZULKIFLI ABD RAHMAN, LOH FOON FONG AND LESTER KONG

HOMESTAY for tourists is a new approach the Tourism Ministry has aggressively promoted overseas to catalyse the rural economy.

Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said a lot of promotion and publicity campaigns had been carried out in Japan, South Korea, Britain and Asia.

She was replying to Teo Nie Ching (DAP — Serdang) who had asked about the ministry’s promotional efforts on homestay.

She said the homestay was generally promoted based on three cultural concepts — Malay, Chinese and Indian.

“The Ministry has also organised students from other countries for homestays here and we have also briefed foreign diplomats on the attraction,” she said.

For the domestic market, the ministry had estimated spending for campaigns and advertising would be RM5mil this year, she said in the mini budget roundup for her ministry.

In a reply to Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad (PAS — Kuala Selangor) on why the amount from the mini budget was a minimal RM1mil which was not adequate to stimulate the industry, she said she had asked for RM400mil but it was slashed.

In answering a question from Che Uda Che Nik (PAS — Sik) on whether the ministry emphasised packaged homestay, Azalina said it was up to the operators to sell their concepts and encouraged them to use the ministry’s website to publicise their homestays.

Azalina also told Che Uda that students and backpackers preferred the concept.

Article taken from The Star.


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