21/04/2024 06:33 PM

NIBONG TEBAL, April 21 (Bernama) -- The Penang Regional Development Authority (PERDA) is currently ramping up its efforts to promote the 'Visit My Kampung' agro-tourism programme, with the goal of positioning homestays as the preferred destination for tourists.

PERDA chairman, Datuk Dr. Shaik Hussein Mydin, said through this programme, tourists will have the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in village life, partake in various activities and indulge in traditional dishes not readily available in their hometowns.

He highlighted that apart from revitalising the tourism sector, the programme also presents an avenue for locals to increase their income through the tourism packages and products offered.

"The domestic tourism sector has experienced a resurgence, with Penang emerging as a key destination. As such, homestay operators should take a proactive approach in promoting their offerings.

"In order to ensure the success of this programme, PERDA has forged a strategic partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture (MOTAC) to showcase Penang as not only a city-centric destination but also as a place rich in village experiences," he said  after launching the Visit My Kampung Homestay Sungai Duri @PERDA programme at the Sungai Duri Village Community Hall, here today.

Also present were PERDA general manager Mohd Asri Baharum and Penang MOTAC director Dr. Annuar Mohamed.

Shaik Hussein highlighted that PERDA received support from the Rural and Regional Development Ministry (KKDW) while emphasising that the Visit My Kampung programme which has been included in MOTAC's calendar this year has been well-received with many homestays receiving numerous bookings.

Meanwhile, Mohd Asri said the Visit My Kampung programme initiated in 2022, started with the Pulau Betong Homestay in Balik Pulau, themed #maimakandurian, followed by the Kota Aur Homestay in Kepala Batas, themed #maitengokkampung.

"Visit My Kampung Homestay Sungai Setar @PERDA was the third programme and various activities are tailored to the unique features of each homestay, and today we are launching our fourth programme themed #karnivalmaiberaya," he said.

He added that so far, 10 villages across Penang, registered under MOTAC, have implemented this homestay tourism activity, with a total of 106,088 visitors recorded last year.

He said the Visit My Kampung Homestay Sungai Setar @PERDA programme launched on March 3 had resulted in a significant increase in bookings. The two largest bookings are for a university student adoption programme involving 60 participants from universities nationwide, scheduled for April 26 to 28.

"Furthermore, we are excited to announce the upcoming Bendang Festival organised by the Malaysian Homestay Association, scheduled for Aug 2 to 4,” he said adding that they have received interest from television programmes wanting to film scenes here.

In the meantime, Annuar said MOTAC would collaborate with PERDA to promote homestays registered under the ministry to boost tourist arrivals.

"We have funds allocated for the Industry Development Programme, specifically targeting homestays. As such, we welcome any agency to collaborate with MOTAC to promote agro-tourism," he added.





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