Proceedings of ICFC 2014

ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT OF RURAL COMMUNITIES IN HOMESTAY PROGRAMMES: LOOPHOLES OF GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE

NC Abdullah, Jamaliah Said

Abstract


Community Based Tourism (CBT) is able to create direct employment opportunities to the rural communities as well as increasing their income, hence reducing the level of poverty of rural communities. In line with the philosophy of upgrading the economic position of the rural communities via the facilities of accommodation and activities in homestay programme – homestay is one of the examples of CBT. Many researchers agree that homestay has indeed improved the livelihood of the operators in terms of economic and social status. Though it is recommended that that there should be an extension of the concept to urban villages and that participatory democracy can be the answer to the determination of the future of the urban villagers in the homestay programme, however, there is lack of research on the issue of economic empowerment and governance. Using the qualitative method, this paper discusses the extent of the concept of economic empowerment of rural communities over the homestay programmes, the legal problems that arise as a result of economic empowerment of rural communities. As a whole, this paper explores the issue of governance of homestay programme in the light of sustainability of the programme.