KUCHING, 15 Sept –The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) has identified  Santubong to be promoted as one of the Muslim-friendly tourism products in the country.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said that based on research, Sarawak, formerly known as Santubong, is the second oldest Malay state in the world, and also where the  mausoleum of Sarawak’s first and only sultan, Sultan Tengah, is located.

“(Santubong) is also an attraction because of its archaeological sites. Prehistoric burial grounds in Tanjong Kubor, the pre-historic iron industry in Sungai Jaong and stone carvings from previous civilizations…all these provide an interesting narrative for Muslim tourists,” she said when opening the Islamic Tourism Entrepreneurship and Leadership Seminar (ITELS) here today.

 Nancy said in an effort to develop the Muslim-Friendly Tourism and Hospitality sector, MOTAC had made it easier for the registration of homestay operators to enable them to benefit from the Malaysian Homestay Experience Programme.

“This is one of the efforts by the government to generate more income for the local community through community-based tourism in the rural areas,” she added.

Meanwhile, at a press conference later,  Nancy said the ministry had also identified several longhouses in Sarawak to be used as Muslim-friendly homestays.

“We want to show that in a long house there are Muslims and non-Muslims staying together under the same roof.

“Muslim tourists are actually interested in the history of long houses, customs and eco-tourism in the area. I’m sure many people will be interested to visit and experience staying in a long house,” she added.


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