Desa Cinta Kobuni Homestay at Kampung Kobuni, the first homestay in the city, was officially launched on Sunday, 18 March.
The homestay was created under the National Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS) initiative carried out by Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) and other agencies to develop community-based tourism.
Located about seven minutes from Inanam town, Kampung Kobuni has 291 villagers from 72 households. The village offers 19 homestay premises for visitors.
Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Edward Yong Oui Fah hoped that Kampung Kobuni, the first community-based tourism NBOS programme implemented in Kota Kinabalu, would serve as a catalyst to its surroundings.
"I hope more homestays will be created in the city apart from developing new potential tourism products in rural areas to be promoted through the NBOS programme" he said when officiating at the launching of Desa Cinta Kobuni Homestay.
He said Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Haji Aman in his State Budget 2018 speech had emphasized on strengthening the tourism market in Sabah by focusing on rural tourism.
He said Musa also spoke about developing village entrepreneurs, village tourism, entrepreneurship training, micro-credit financing and enhancing the one district one product programme to increase the income of rural folks.
In the budget, Yong said the government had allocated RM127.18 million to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment and RM152.09 million to the Ministry of Rural Development for this purpose.
"We should seize the opportunities and together enjoy the economic development in the State" he urged.
Yong also announced that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government would contribute a set of computer to the village to facilitate their homestay programme.
Meanwhile, Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai said DBKK chose Kampung Kobuni with the aim to elevate their economic status.
He said the project to turn the village into a homestay began three months ago with the concerted effort of eight agencies, including DBKK, Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia, Sabah office, Sabah Tourism Board and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).
"The programme is successful as we now have 19 houses that have joined the homestay programme" said Yeo.
He said DBKK would connect the homestay operators to tourism agencies and monitor their progress.
"We will source funds to provide more facilities to the village for visitors to enjoy if necessary" he continued.
He added that DBKK would also look into developing other villages as homestays in the future.
Also present were Yong's spouse, Datin Mary Wong, DBKK advisor Datuk Nancy Ho, who heads the Tourism Development, Culture and International Relations Committee and Kampung Kobuni homestay chairman Aji B. Rumbuton.