The first homestay in Kota Kinabalu, the regional capital city of Sabah State (East Malaysia) has recently opened to the public with more are being planned.
The rapid growth of Kota Kinabalu as a tourism destination underlines the need to create new tourism products to sustain the growth, said Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Edward Yong Oui Fah.
Speaking at the launching ceremony of Kota Kinabalu’s first homestay, Desa Cinta Kobuni Homestay in Inanam, near here, yesterday, Yong said the best way to support the tourism growth is by developing innovative, creative tourism products and attractions within the city under the NBOS-Community Based Tourism Programme. (NBOS stands for New Blue Ocean Strategy and reflects the government’s call for innovation.)
“We need to grab every opportunity in order to develop our economy and the tourism industry.
“The Chief Minister (Tan Sri Musa Haji Aman) has announced in the 2018 Budget that the government is giving more focus on rural tourism and has allocated RM127.18 million for the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Environment and RM152,09 for the Ministry of Rural Development.”
“There is no excuse for not developing the industry.”
Earlier, he praised the management of Desa Cinta Kobuni Homestay for its pioneering spirit. Homestays are popular in outer districts such as Kundasang and Kudat, but a rarity in the urban centres.
“This is the first homestay in Kota Kinabalu, something to be proud of. I believe Kobuni will receive more international and domestic guests. It is my hope that more homestays will be established in town soon.”
Meanwhile, Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai said that the Kota Kinabalu City Hall is eying another village to establish a homestay programme.
“Currently, I can say Tebobon (near Menggatal) and Babagon Toki (in Penampang) have the potential to be developed as homestay hub,” he said, adding that the scenery and villagers’ daily routine are among attractive factors. “I’ve been there, and it was wonderful,” he noted.
(Source: New Sabah Times)