Soon, Alipurduar to have 'blue home stays' to boost tourism
Soon, the Alipurduar district administration will start 'blue home stays' as the new tourist attractions in North Bengal.
The homes will be painted blue in colour in accordance with the official colour theme of the state.
According to a district administration source, blue home stays will soon be inaugurated at Chilapata, Totopara, Shalkumar Haat and Haatipota.
"There are already some home stays in this district. The concept of blue home stays is something that is new. Chilapata will get 13 new home stays," said a district administration source.
"We will soon start massive campaigns for the blue homestays across the state, especially in Kolkata and the adjoining areas. Interested tourists can also book online for the home stay facilities," the source added.
Meanwhile, the Bengal government is now ready with its 'Home Stay Policy' to facilitate thousands of middle-class families in the tourist spots. The home stays would also enhance the micro and small entrepreneurs (MSEs) engaging the local workforce. Thus, the government felt the need of a separate policy.
It was also decided that the state government would provide financial assistance to those families promoting home stays. The government will support them as per the new home stay policy.
The state government would also facilitate them to get bank loans to get ready with the infrastructure for foreign tourists who want to avail the facilities of home stays.
"We'll even make houses in those areas. We'll go for an agreement with the local residents and they'll get 80 per cent of the total income from the home stays. The government will get 20 percent from it," said a Bengal Tourism department source.
The district administration of Alipurduar will share their idea with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee while her visit during the district review meeting. "Our Chief Minister has changed the total concept of tourism in North Bengal. North Bengal was earlier a neglected area but now it has become one of the popular tourist destinations across the nation. The footfall has increased than before," the source added.
However, the local tour operators will discuss important matters with the officers of the state Tourism department. "We'll also meet the tourism minister soon," said a tour operator.
It may be mentioned that several home stays have come up in North Bengal, mainly in the Dooars region — the floodplains and foothills of the eastern Himalayas in North-East India around Bhutan. Home stays are very popular among Europeans and South Americans tourists.