EMPOWERING AGROTOURISM IN SELANGOR THROUGH COMMUNITY BASED TOURISM ACTIVITIES
Agrotourism and community based tourism is one of the main focuses of the state of Selangor to empower the tourism industry for 2023. Through the mandate of the Honorable Chief Minister of Selangor, Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari, during the Selangor State Budget 2023, the Selangor state government will allocate RM 500,000 for the development of agrotourism under the Selangor Agro Transformation Plan or PeTA which is the core of the Selangor agricultural sector.
Sungai Panjang Agro Tourism in Sabak Bernam is one of the new agrotourism products introduced to develop the economy in the district. Operated by Sungai Panjang Agro Tourism Sdn Bhd (SPAT) and managed by Persatuan Integrasi Komuniti Usahawan Muda (PIKOM), this initiative is focused on the socio-economic improvement of the local community, especially the youth and women in Sungai Panjang and the surrounding areas.
Tourists can experience activities with a community based tourism concept, such as visits to gardens cultivated by more than 25 commercial farm operators (agro), as well as visiting the lush paddy fields by cycling and riding a tram or by using ATVs provided by nearby homestay operators.
Agrotourism through community based tourism concept activities is not only able to provide tourists with an interesting travel experience but also has the potential to improve the economy of local residents, such as visits to Small and Medium Enterprises, where tourists can learn the process of making chips while experiencing the life of the Javanese community and Banjar through traditional food in shops and restaurants around the Sungai Panjang area.
The success of this agrotourism can be seen with the recognition of the first Selangor Melon Farm (MeloSel) in Sungai Besar, Sabak Bernam, by Her Royal Highness Tengku Permaisuri Norashikin binti Abdul Rahman. The Selangor Melon Farm in Sungai Besar is the first Selangor Melon Farm to be commercialised using smart farming methods, where it was opened to the public for the first time this year.
The Chief Executive Officer of Tourism Selangor, Azrul Shah Mohamad, in a statement said as the official tourism promotion agency of the State of Selangor; Tourism Selangor strongly encourages the involvement of communities and agencies in empowering agrotourism in the state of Selangor. Throughout 2022, Tourism Selangor has collaborated with 21 Selangor Community Hosts and 6 Local Authorities for the Selangor Local Community Host Programme. Community based tourism is expected to improve the tourism industry in the state of Selangor by bringing a different concept to tourists, not only domestically but also internationally.
With the involvement of various agencies and Local Authorities for the development and promotion of agrotourism in the state of Selangor, such as Sungai Panjang Agro Tourism (SPAT), agrotourism through community based tourism activities is expected to be able to be driven to improve the economy of the state of Selangor, especially for the agriculture, livestock, Small Medium Enterprises and more. Apart from Sungai Panjang Agro Tourism, there is also Sekinchan Tourism Development Association, Persatuan Kebajikan Rakyat Mukim Dengkil, Sungai Sireh Homestay in Kuala Selangor, Homestay Hj. Dorani and Homestay Banghuris that have the potential in developing agrotourism in the State of Selangor.