The homestay policy is ready to be placed in next state Cabinet meeting. Talking to Millennium Post on Saturday, state Tourism minister Goutam Deb said: “The policy is hundred per cent ready now. We’ll place the policy in state Cabinet meeting soon.”
However, the Tourism department earlier initiated the homestay policy to promote micro and small industrial growth.
The idea was conceptualised by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee while she was travelling in North Bengal. She instructed the state Tourism department to frame the policy as soon as possible.
“The Homestay permits tourists to board and lodge with local residents and get an instant feel of the society and culture there. This gives a chance for the residents to have a mean of livelihood as well,” the minister said.
“The intention is to spread the homestay culture in Bengal only for a growing footfall of foreign tourists,” the minister added.
The minister alleged that the Centre’s demonetisation drive left the Tourism industry in lurch.
“That was a hasty and arbitrary decision. They did not even think what the effect of demonetisation would be on the economy. The Tourism industry in Bengal faced severe problem after the declaration of demonetisation on November 8,” Deb said.
The minister criticised Centre’s effort to bring cashless economy. “Most of the homestays in Bengal are dependent on cash transaction. They will not able to do business. The Prime minister is destroying the industry here,” Deb further said.
The families involved in the 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 places – Darjeeling, Lamahata, Purulia, Bankura, Mandarmoni and in many other places.