Monday, 8 May 2017

(The Star) Tapping into villages’ unique charm

ISKANDAR PUTERI: The Johor Tourism Department and related agencies are ready to work with new villages in the state to promote their tourism activities.

Johor Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumerism Committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong said village development and security committees (JKKK) play an important role in making this possible.

“The JKKKs can register their new villages under the state’s homestay programmes to promote their tourism activities.

“At the same time, new villages can come up with a plan to showcase their uniqueness and heritage through cultural programmes, traditional food or natural attractions,” Tee said during the state assembly sitting in response to queries from Teoh Yap Kun (BN-Paloh) and Suhaimi Salleh (BN-Kukup) about the state’s role in promoting new villages.

Tee cited Kampung Baru Kukup in Kukup, a traditional fishing village located near the Tanjung Piai National Park, which is the second largest Ramsar site in the world.

Kukup is also home to houses on stilts that sit above the water and fresh seafood offerings, he added.

Tee said these factors alone made it viable to become a major tourist attraction as travellers were looking for nature and heritage in rural areas.

“If new villages offer homestay programmes for visitors to fully experience kampung life, it will attract many tourists,” said Tee, adding JKKK should give youths a platform to come up with creative packages.

“Moreover, they can also help with online promotion and e-booking,” he added.