Selangor has started an initiative to create a new experience for tourists with the help of trained tour guides, known as community hosts who will promote the state’s unique heritage and shine a spotlight on the rural communities.
These licenced tour guides undergo six months of training under the Selangor Community Host Training Programme 2019 organised by Tourism Selangor.
The programme, introduced last year, has so far recruited over 51 community hosts from six municipalities, namely Klang, Hulu Langat, Kuala Langat, Hulu Selangor, Kuala Selangor and Sabak Bernam.
Selangor culture, tourism, Malay customs and heritage committee chairman Datuk Abdul Rashid Asari said the initiative was to promote the state’s heritage, traditions, local products and services, at the same time encourage a better tourism experience.
“This year, the state government had targeted 7.7 million visitors to Selangor and by September, we had received 5.83 million visitors, ” he said, adding this figure was an increase of 4% compared with the third quarter of last year.
Rashid said the programme should be given more attention as it could have a positive social impact on the rural communities in Selangor because the tour guides who graduated from the programme would help introduce the state’s attractions in an in-depth manner and highlight lesser-known activities and specialities in Selangor.
Rashid, who was speaking at a graduation ceremony for a batch of 30 community hosts held at the Silver Jubilee Banquet Hall in Section 5, Shah Alam, said some of the tour guides had come up with their own projects, picking out their destination of choice, cultural activity or even food to highlight.
“The vision of the programme is to train community hosts to become storytellers for tourists, at the same time becoming masterminds in promoting tourism in the country, ” he added.
The graduates, aged from 18 to 40 years old, include full-time and part-time tour guides.
All community host graduates were given a certificate of completion during the ceremony and their tour guide licence was effective immediately.
The graduates also came up with a Cultural District Map of their districts, which was passed on to Hulu Selangor District Council (MDHS), Kuala Langat District Council (MDKL), Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) and Klang Municipal Council (MPK) to be included in Tourism Selangor’s Official Tourism Directory.
Next year, Selangor Tourism is looking to cover all nine areas of the state by recruiting candidates from three more areas, namely Sepang, Gombak and Petaling, to train as community hosts and further optimise Selangor as a tourist attraction.
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