The Malaysia Homestay Programme was among the tourism highlights discussed during the Global Tourism Economy Forum 2017.
The participating villages are carefully selected. They are required to comply with the strict guidelines set by MOTAC. ― Pic courtesy of Tourism Malaysia
Malaysia’s tourism industry has grown by leaps and bounds, aided by a favourable exchange rate, strategic location and stunning natural landscapes.
One of the initiatives under the nation’s tourism development programmes is the Malaysia Homestay Programme. Formed in 1995, it enables families living in the outskirts of town and in traditional villages to take part and benefit from the economic activities of tourism.
The programme is carried out by the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism and Culture (MOTAC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development, respective state governments and the Association of Homestay Malaysia. The participating villages are carefully selected and required to comply with the strict guidelines set by MOTAC. Training is provided and standards are also specified for the villages involved to prepare themselves to receive their first tourists in their homes.
And recently, the Malaysia Homestay Programme was among the tourism highlights discussed during the Global Tourism Economy Forum 2017 in Macau on 16 October 2017, attracting positive comments from all delegates.
Among the delegates present at the forum. ― Pic courtesy of Tourism Malaysia
The Global Tourism Economy Forum (GTEF) is a leading international exchange platform designed to promote sustainable development of the global tourism industry with a focus on China.
Speaking as a panel member of the forum’s “Face To Face, Ministers and Private Sector CEOs” session entitled “Embracing Regional Collaboration for Collective Growth”, Chairman of Tourism Malaysia Dato’ Dr Siew Ka Wei shared the success story of the Malaysia Homestay Programme and how it’s considered a successful collaboration of government, local community and tourism industry players.
According to Dato’ Dr Siew, the Malaysia Homestay Programme exists today as a prime example of how the government and the community or private sector can work together long-term towards a better economic and social future for all.
“In fact, the programme was so successful that in 2012, it was awarded the UNWTO Ulysses Award for Innovation in Public Policy and Governance,” said Dato’ Dr Siew.
There are a total of 201 homestay clusters or villages that are spread out all over the country.
He added, “The programme emphasizes the utilisation of available resources of the village, the conservation and maintenance of socio-cultural and artistic customs of the village and also highlights the uniqueness of the Malaysian village life. The programme, in many ways, has helped turn the tourism industry into a major and viable sector and also contributed to the socio-economic development of the local people and the country. It is one of Malaysia’s prime examples of sustainable tourism at its best.”
Dato’ Dr Siew continued, “For the villagers, the homestay programme provided a supplementary source of income to its hosts and inexpensive alternative accommodation to tourists. In addition to hospitality services training, they were also groomed for entrepreneurial opportunities. Homestay operators were trained with specific skills such as reflexology, while efforts to encourage entrepreneurship through the production and sale of local products and handicrafts served to add value to the homestay experience for tourists.”
To date, there are a total of 201 homestay clusters or villages that are spread out all over the country, in every state.
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