With the theme “For Our Culture, Nature and Future”, Karnival Citrarasa Homestay Malaysia 2016 was launched on 5th November, 2016, with much fanfare by guest-of-honour, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Culture Y.B. Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin.
The homestay carnival, which was hosted for three days from 4th to 6th November, at Jalan Kota, Bandar Hilir in Melaka, for the first time brings the product of homestays to the people.
Locals and foreign tourists were able to see for themselves what a “homestay” is, and why it is an alternative to get to know Malaysia and her people better, rather than just sticking to the tried and tested tourist attractions.
Although registered with the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia are 193 homestays from 341 villages all over the country, only about 180 of these homestays exhibited their products at the carnival.
Besides promoting their various homestay packages and interesting activities that one could indulge in while staying in the village, they also showcased their cultural dances and songs through performances, as well as traditional delicacies via cooking demonstrations.
During the carnival, other side events included seminars for product owners, games, quizzes as well as MaTiC FM radio deejay search and mini concerts.
The homestay programme is community-based tourism that is growing in importance for the economy of the country. From January to October 2016, homestays have generated a revenue of RM17.05 million, an increase by 9.5% from RM15.57 million over the same period last year.
Speaking from personal experience, I would say that homestays are an acquired taste. I have visited many homestays around the country. While I do enjoy the setting and they make wonderful photography backdrops, I am too much of a city girl to willingly forgo the conveniences of modern amenities, which are not always available in a village.
Nevertheless, I would suggest to gain a homestay experience at least once. It doesn’t have to be at a village in a far-flung state. It could be at your own backyard, because homestay programmes are offered by all thirteen Malaysian states, and also the Federal Territory of Labuan.
Event: Launch of Karnival Citrarasa Homestay Malaysia 2016
Venue: Jalan Kota, Bandar Hilir, Melaka
Date: 5th Nov, 2016
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