The Bengal government will soon be ready with its ‘Homestay Policy’ to facilitate thousands of middle class families in the tourist spots in West Bengal. The homestay – could enhance the micro and small entrepreneurs (MSEs) engaging the local work force. Thus, the government felt a separate policy is required to frame it.
The homestay in the tourist destination is now a much popular concept worldwide. It is a form of tourism or study abroad system that allows visitors to rent rooms from local families. It is sometimes used by people who wish to improve their language skills and become familiar with the local lifestyle.
Many foreign researchers are now finding their best accommodation in homestays in India. Some countries encourage homestay as a mean of developing their tourism industry. Hosting a homestay participant allows the host family to earn an income.
However, the West Bengal Tourism Department is all set to formulate separate policy for getting the better revenue in tourism.
The police would include all the angles including – legal and safety, food and accommodation, rent as well as tour guides for the guests.
The families involved in homestay would be brought under Bread & Breakfast Scheme, which will help them by having a tie-up with Incredible India. Also, plans are going on to start community development and organic farming in these places – Darjeeling, Lamahata, Purulia, Bankura, Mandarmoni and in many other places. The hills of Bengal are example of such places where homestay is popular among tourists.
Several homestays have come up in the settlements in North Bengal, mainly in the Dooars region -- the floodplains and foothills of the eastern Himalayas in North-east India around Bhutan. Homestays are very popular among Europeans and South Americans tourists.
“The policy would be framed in accordance with the guidance of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and tourism minister Goutam Deb. The Homestays permits tourists to board and lodge with local residents and get an instant feel of the society and culture there. This gives a chance to the residents to have a mean of livelihood as well,” a tourism department source said.