KIMANIS, Jan 12 (Bernama) -- The homestay industry in Sabah has registered positive growth and is among the highest earners in Malaysia with more than RM6 million in revenue last year, said Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi.
He said of that amount, the Seri Serbang Homestay in Bongawan alone enjoyed about RM2.02 million in revenue with 68,269 guests, including from overseas.
“Sabah alone has 51 villages with homestays. Papar and Beaufort have the most homestays,” he told reporters after launching the Cuti-Cuti Malaysia Tour in conjunction with Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020) at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Bongawan II near here last night.
Mohamaddin said the government is committed in ensuring an equal share of economic prosperity, not only in the city of Kota Kinabalu but in the rural areas as well.
Earlier in his speech, he said the government will focus on the smart partnership between the Sabah state government and the private sector, and hoped that the joint venture would help develop the local tourism industry such as in Kimanis parliamentary constituency.
HOMESTAY-SABAH 2 (LAST) KIMANIS
“Through the VM2020 campaign, the Federal government and Sabah state government will be working together to lift Sabah's tourism industry.
“We have diversity in nature, beautiful beaches, islands and seas and more importantly, the warmth of the local hospitality which makes Sabah so special,” he said.
Mohamaddin said from Jan to Sept last year, the state's tourism sector enjoyed good returns with more than three million tourist arrivals including from overseas.
“Sabah is the third-largest contributor for the country’s tourism sector,” he said.
In this regard, he said the VM2020 Tour programme would further boost the domestic tourism sector, in the process increase tourist spending.
Meanwhile, Tourism Malaysia chairman Datuk Ahmad Shah Hussein Tambakau said the launching of the VM2020 Tour in Bongawan was the first of such programme outside of Kota Kinabalu, indicating that both Federal and state governments are committed to driving the tourism sector in the west coast of Sabah.
The Bongawan area located on the west coast coastline is a potential tourist spot with interesting ecotourism products such as the fireflies cruise.
TAGS: VM2020, sabah, homestay, mohamaddin ketapi, tourism, bongawan