Saturday, March 7, 2009

District Officer hails Bau homestay programme

There are lots of potential tourism products waiting to be explored in Bau, District Officer, Tom Hem Mijod said yesterday.

He welcomed the help of Bau Tourism and Homestay Agency (BTHA), a local private firm, in promoting and developing the homestay programme in the district.
He described the firm’s help as “very timely.”

“We must have someone to lead the way but, of course, the programme will not succeed without the strong support of the locals who are the major players,” added Tom when officiating at a briefing on the BTHA homestay programme at the Civic Centre here yesterday.

He urged the locals to identify the potentials that they had and after that, work together with BTHA on how to expose and market their products.
Tom pointed out that there were many interesting places here, such as the famous Wind and Fairy Caves and Tasik Biru.

There were many other places that needed to be explored and turned into popular tourist spots.

Bau Homestay 20.jpg

Tom Hem Mijod (centre) cutting the ribbon to mark the launching of Bau Homestay 2009 as Henry Lai (right) and Akoi Ejau look on.

Tom said there would be some demand for the homestay facilities if the tourist spots were more established.

“Actually, there have been plans for all these even before this but unfortunately, there was no one to implement them.”
He added that it was the government policy to encourage the community to participate actively in the profitable tourism business.

Citing the trading of handicrafts and other products at the Serikin border point as an example, Tom said the activity had managed to generate incomes for the people in the surrounding areas.

“This is a very good example of how we can exploit the potentials that we have and in the case of Serikin, it benefits not only the people there but also those residing all along the way.
“I believe if there are places of interest along the way, people on their way to Serikin will definitely stop by and buy something to bring back,” he said.
Meanwhile, BTHA’s general manager, Henry Lai, said the firm would be meeting the community leaders in the district to explain to them the concept of the homestay programme.

“The homestay concept of tourism is newhere.
“After realising the potentials of the district, we decided to help the local community develop their homestay programme.
“We will also help them promote and market their products. With the support of the locals here, we are confident we can succeed,” he disclosed.
The briefing yesterday was attended by heads of various relevant government agencies and community leaders in the district.



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