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Homestay programme gains popularity


Two more villages have joined the Kampung Sinaran Baru homestay programme

THE homestay programme at Kampung Sinaran Baru, which is   on the fringe of Johor Baru, is one of the more successful homestay programmes in Johor, although the tourism product received a lukewarm response when it was introduced in 2006.

  Good reviews of the homestay, spread by word of mouth, have helped boost the business of its operators. They can now rake in between RM7,000 and RM21,000 per month for each visit depending on the number of  tourists.

Since it started,  the programme has had19,132 visitors, comprising both locals and foreigners.

  Of this, 17,372 were tourists from Japan, Indonesia and Singapore and the total income generated was RM132,524.

  The latest visitors were 285 students and 14 teachers from the Naha Kokusai High School based in Okinawa, Japan. They  were eager to learn about rural life in Malaysia.

  Sinaran Baru coordinator Norbi Ahmad, 60, said when the programme was first started only three villages were part of it. They were Kampung Sinaran Baru, Sri Aman and Tawakal.

  "Two more villages have joined the programme -- Kampung Pemuda Jaya and Impian Jaya, bringing the total number of participants to 45," said  Norbi.

  "Apart from being able to enjoy the atmosphere and surroundings of a kampung, visitors can also sample a total of 14 products offered by small- and medium-sized industries in Johor Baru.  

  "These include freshwater fish, frozen food products, fruits and tamarind," she added.

  Norbi said the homestay programme is popular as it allows visitors to experience life in the village and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

  "The response to the programme has been encouraging as some visitors do not want to stay in hotels."

  The Kampung Sinaran Baru homestay programme has four packages ranging from RM100 to RM400 a day depending on the type of house.

Norbi Ahmad (right) with her husband Jahari Paber, 60, at their house which is registered with the Tourism Ministry.

Though it started off poorly in 2006, the homestay programme has become popular among foreigners from Japan, Indonesia and Singapore. Pix by Fahmi Mohd Yusof

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