Malaysian Government’s effort to promote homestay in Malaysia
In an effort to revive homestay in the country, Tourism Ministry collaborated with Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) to introduce and promote rural tourism. The collaboration between Tourism Board and KTMB was meant to encourage travelers to participate in an all-new homestay programme which is accessible via rail. A total of 22 home are located all along the Singapore-Tumpat and Singapore-Padang Besar routes. In line with government’s effort to promote homestay programme not only among foreign tourists but also locals, a new travel TV programme was launched to introduce and bring viewers to see various attractions on board a train.
The collaboration between Tourism Board and KTMB will showcase the exact homestay locations where KTM stations are located – Tumpat, Tanah Merah, Wakaf Bharu, Kuala Kerai, Dabong, Gua Musang, Kuala Lipis, Mentakab, Gemas and Kluang. Meanwhile, Singapore-Padang Besar route stops in nearby stations which are Kajang, Ipoh, Bukit Mertajam, Alor Setar, Arau, Padang Besar, Tampin, Butterworth and Seremban. To further promote Malaysian homestay to Singapore tourist market, a new kiosk at Tanjong Pagar Railway Station and Facebook page were launched to generate word-of-mouth and create buzz. By visiting the new kiosk, Singaporeans can easily inquire and get all the information needed regarding the 2,800 homestay operators nationwide in a total of 142 traditional kampung.
Homestay business is booming
Besides promoting homestay programme in Peninsular, the Tourism Board also aims to elevate homestay business in Sarawak tourism market in an effort to increase the state’s revenues. Generally, the main tourism product in Sarawak lies in the cultural, adventure and nature aspect. Thus, homestay programme will integrate all these components to attract tourists. In that sense, homestay business is the front runner as a marketing tool in terms of accommodation factor. One of the products available to tourists would be homestay in longhouses during Gawak Dayak celebration.