Pondokstay has potential as new tourism product – Nancy
KUALA LUMPUR,. The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (MOTAC) through its agency, the Islamic Tourism Centre (ITC) is looking at developing pondokstay for the Islamic tourism segment.
Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said ITC was always open to cooperating and collaborating with partners to enhance the value of existing tourism products as well as develop new ones under the Muslim Friendly Tourism and Hospitality concept.
“Pondokstay is a relatively new tourism product with potential to be explored as a key offering to appeal to the global Muslim tourist market.
“With adequate support in terms of research and marketing, pondokstay can become another exemplary tourism product that champions local communities and their culture, much like homestay and kampungstay,” she said in a statement yesterday.
She said ITC is also actively strengthening existing Muslim-friendly tourism and Islamic tourism branding.
Nancy also applauded the efforts of pondok operators, Yayasan Al-Jenderami in Selangor, Pondok Borakatul Qodiri in Melaka and Pondok Sungai Durian in Kelantan, which offered tourist facilities such as accommodation and experiences such as silat performances, firework shows and communal work with the local communities on top of religion-related classes.
As the product is gaining attention, she said proper guidelines need to be in place to define what constitutes pondokstay to ensure a top quality, holistic and inclusive product.
“The term pondokstay should reflect a dynamic concept taking into account various factors, such as economy, social and lifestyle, community sustainability, good values and best practices, structure and infrastructure, hygiene, health and safety, besides its religion contents,” she added.
Pondokstay enables visitors to live in a pondok environment, experience the lifestyle of the community, and interact directly with the locals during their stay.