Plan your next Trip at the Desa Stay Carnival 2016

This was the first time I've ever been to Johor and the first time I've ever covered an event as part of the media.

I was given the opportunity to travel to Johor with a group of amazing bloggers to cover the inauguration of the DesaStay Carnival for the state of Johor. I, personally, have never covered an event like this so it was full of firsts for me. 

The carnival was inaugurated by Y.A.B Dato’ Mohamed Khaled Bin Nordin, the Menteri Besar of Johor.

The first time we stepped off the bus, we were greeted with a sea of stalls selling local snacks, foods and goods. It was a very lively atmosphere. 

Now, what is the DesaStay Carnival all about?

Well, the Johor Tourism committee had started a program dedicated to furthering the tourism potential of locals living outside the city. This program is called the DesaStay program.

The DesaStay program borrows the idea of a homestay, where tourists get the chance to stay with a host family, interact with the locals and getting a taste of the local village lifestyle all while helping their host families to complete daily tasks and experiencing local customs. Some of these daily tasks include but are not limited to milking goats, and making local crafts.

 To find families for this program, the tourism committee in Johor conducted a search and chose 31 different villages throughout Johor to become a part of the DesaStay Program. There are families from all walks of life so you can expect to experience different cultures and customs no matter which village you choose.

This program was specially created to help improve the tourism industry in Johor. The program works to provide better amenities and choices for tourists especially budget travellers while introducing and teaching tourists about local culture. Finally, this program hopes to provide more job opportunities to people living in rural areas of Johor and therefore improving the economy.

Y.A.B Dato’ Mohamed Khaled Bin Nordin had the following to say about the DesaStay program.
“Pertama, agar pelancong punya peluang memahami kehidupan kita yang damai, unik dan saling bermuafakat." 
"Bukan sahaja para pelancong dari luar negara, percayalah, ramai sekali generasi millennials Malaysia yang barangkali tak pernah hidup di desa. Ramai yang lahir di bandar, membesar di bandar, bersekolah dan bekerja di kota dan ibu bapa mereka telah lama meninggalkan kampung halaman mereka. " 
“Mereka ini juga adalah golongan sasaran yang penting. Kebanyakan mereka inginkan kelainan. Suasana yang damai, suasana yang mengusik nostalgia.” 

While at the carnival, we were able to try out a number of local foods and snacks at the booths. We also got to experience some activities that were offered by the different villages such as kite making, henna art, and local crafts. 

Kite Making
        Henna Art                          
I think this program is a great way to not only introduce local cultures to the world but to also improve the lives of the locals by providing more job opportunities. I believe it is also a great way to give local Malaysians (especially those who have never experienced village life) the opportunity to experience new things! I believe these homestay villages will become quite popular. :)

 To find out more about this program, follow their Twitter here.




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