The Ministry of Tourism and Culture (Motac) Sabah will be focusing more on revaluation of homestay operators in the State starting next year. Its Director Ag Ahmad Zaki Abu Bakar said the assessment is to identify inactive homestay operators.
"As of November 2017, there are 25 homestay operators operating in Sabah and the main purpose of the revaluation is to ensure that the industry players are able to provide the best services to tourists coming to the State.
"We look forward to improving the quality of the country's homestay and, thus, generating income in the rural areas.
"If there are any homestay operators who cannot meet the quality and service that has been set, we will not hesitate to withdraw their operating licences," he said.
Meanwhile, Zaki also took the opportunity to highlight the misuse of the homestay term by certain irresponsible parties.
"The wrongful use of the homestay term for daily rental homes or accommodation premises has led to public misconception about this community-based tourism (CBT).
"We hope these irresponsible parties will no longer use the homestay term to promote their accommodation premises.
"To get the homestay status, the service operators have to meet the criteria set before applying for a licence from the Ministry," he said at the NBOS 1Malaysia Voluntourism Programme: 1Malaysia 1Volunsharing Programming Homestay With the Media Programme, organised by Motac Sabah, at the Misompuru Homestay in Kudat, on Friday.
A total of 15 participants comprising Motac Sabah office staff, media practitioners and Tourism Management students from Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) participated in the three-day village homestay programme.