MIRI (July 19): The diverse eco-tourism products available in Lawas are perfect for any rural homestay development, says Dayak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) secretary-general Libat Langub.
According to him, the district is blessed with many natural and agricultural features such asthe forested mountains, rivers and waterfalls, salt springs, the paddy fields over the Meligan Highlands that produce the premier ‘Adan’ rice, and also the fruit orchards in Lower Trusan.
“Culturally, when travellers opt for rural homestay accommodation in Lawas, they are able to experience the unique Lun Bawang lifestyle which covers recreations,economic activities and also environmental preservation.
“Activities like padi planting and harvesting, jungle-trekking, and whitewater rafting can promote our place to the outside world,” he said in his opening remarks for DCCI’s ‘Homestay Operations and Management Training’ in Lawas yesterday.
Libat, who hails from Long Semado, also expressed his hope for the homestay programme to become a catalyst for the empowerment and income-generation of rural communities, especially the operators who had suffered greatly over the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In this regard, he called upon the operators to seek collaborations with other players in thelocal cottage industries, in view of the projection of higher tourist arrivals in the near future.
Libat also expressed optimism over the ability of the state government’s Post Covid-19 Development Strategy to attract more tourists, revitalise the homestay programme and regenerate the operators’ incomes.
Meanwhile, the two-day programme involving 30 participants representing the Lawas Lun Bawang Association highlights DCCI’s objective of facilitating training and workshops meant to encourage and help Dayak entrepreneurs in areas of business and commerce.
The chamber previously collaborated with the Bumiputera Agenda Steering Unit (Teraju) in a federal government programme tasked with training Dayak homestay operators at different locations across the state.
“Many are already managing their own homestays today,” said Libat.