Increasingly, travelers are seeking experiences beyond pure relaxation and a sun-and-sand holiday. Today’s globetrotters desire authentic experiences and connection. Educational and cultural components of the touristic experience are important factors in making travel choices. One way that travelers can add a meaningful people-to-people aspect to their trip is by staying in the home of a local family that opens its home up to tourists. Guesthouses that are opened for homestay experiences have become trendy in the tourism industry to help authenticate the travel experience. UNESCO and various governments “see the homestay business as beneficial in terms of preserving the local authentic heritage” (Wang, 2007, p. 790).

In 1988, Malaysia introduced a homestay program where tourists would be charged a minimal charge to stay with a local ...

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