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                                                    Taiping, Perak, Malaysia


Grants for Homestays

Sunday August 10, 2008

TAIPING: Parliamentary and state constituencies have been allocated grants from the Tourism Ministry to encourage the setting up of more homestay facilities throughout the country.

A parliamentary constituency is allocated RM200,000 while each state constituency is granted RM50,000.
People flocking to savour free durians at the Great Durian Festival at Bukit Gantang near Taiping yesterday.

Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said the move would boost economic growth for rural areas besides offering foreign tourists an insight into the lives of Malaysians.

There are only about 3,000 houses providing homestay facilities to tourists, she told reporters after launching The Great Durian Festival 2008 in Bukit Gantang yesterday.

“Japanese and Korean tourists have given their thumbs-up to our homestay programme. I feel it should be expanded nationwide,” she said.

Asked whether Pakatan Rakyat constituencies would get the grants, she said they were meant for all constituencies.

Earlier, Azalina said the durian festival should also include other tropical fruits such as mangosteen and jackfruit so visitors would have a wider choice to sample from.
Hundreds of durians being opened to cater to the 20,000 people who arrived at Bukit Gantang yesterday.

Azalina said to encourage more visitors to Bukit Gantang, the Government had allocated RM500,000 which had been fully utilised and an additional RM200,000 had also been allocated to further improve Bukit Gantang's homestay infrastructure.

She said the ministry had allocated RM74mil to further develop tourism facilities in Perak under the Ninth Malaysia Plan,

“The decision to provide such an allocation shows that the federal government never overlooked the needs of states under opposition rule,” she said.

Source: The Star

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