December 07 , 2002

Keda Picks Villages For "Homestay" Programme

LANGKAWI, Dec 7 (Bernama) -- The Kedah Regional Development Authority (Keda) has identified villages with potential for the "Homestay" programme to supplement villagers' income by wooing more tourists.
Its General Manager Datuk Mohamed Tajuddin Bakary said Keda had shortlisted 60 traditional villages, Hardcore Poor Assistance Project villages and settlements for the poor in security development areas for the programme.
He said Keda had targeted all the 60 villages to participate in the programme which would be implemented in stages.
The five villages currently involved in the programme are Kampung Lahar Tunjung in Pendang; Kampung Bagan Sena in Kulim; Kampung Ulu Lenggong in Baling; Kampung Tepi Sungai in Kuala Muda; and Kampung Wang Tok Rendong in Kuah, he told BERNAMA.
Mohamed Tajuddin urged participants to improve upkeep of the villages and homes, management, service quality and hygiene so that tourists would come again to stay in the villages to enjoy the tranquil countryside and the lifestyle of Malaysians living in rural areas, he said.
He said participants should take the initiative to introduce new products like handicrafts, foodstuffs and eye-catching cultural presentations to mesmerise tourists.
He said residents of the five villages have adapted well to the homestay concept after undergoing training, including a course on the programme organised by the Culture, Arts and Tourism Ministry.
Meanwhile, Kampung Wang Tok Rendong Homestay programme chairman Che Rus Saad said 665 local and foreign tourists visited the village between January and October this year.
Among them were seven journalists from the United States, he said.
To further promote the village, 4,000 colourful brochures in Bahasa Malaysia and English would be distributed locally and abroad, he said.
The village offers lodging, traditional food and endurance activities like jungle-trekking, wall-climbing, mountain bikes besides a scenic natural environment with lust greenery, he added.