KUCHING: The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) has improved the guidelines of the Malaysia Homestay Experience programme in line with the latest demand to encourage more rural communities to participate as entrepreneurs.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, said the improvements included placing a limit on the registration radius for clusters or individuals as operators to be expanded within 10 km in Peninsular Malaysia and 50 km for Sabah and Sarawak from the activity centre.

She added the minimum cluster registration limit has also been reduced from 10 people to five people for Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.

"Besides, we want to expand the participation to individuals who are interested in joining registered homestay community and create categories for homestays and kampung stay such as Annex Kampungstay, Guest Kampungstay, Farm or Agro Kampungstay and Innovatif Kampungstay.

"We also want to emphasise on responsibility and governance of the homestay cluster, and encourage them to establish cooperatives as well as register with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM)," she said in her speech at the launching ceremony of the Malaysia Homestay Experience guidelines and jomhomestay. my platform here today.

Nancy said this is a golden opportunity for homestay operators to increase their income by offering better services and special promotions to attract the target groups.

"We want to attract high-value tourists that spend more money to boost the tourism industry," she added.

Although many international borders will be re-opened, Nancy said Malaysians are still cautious and prefer to go on domestic holidays.