WBFDC to come up with home-stays at 2 places in S Bengal
Kolkata: West Bengal Forest Development Corporation (WBFDC) has taken up a pilot project for developing home-stay tourism at two places in South Bengal, in coordination with the state Tourism department.
"We have identified five rooms at Ilambazar in Birbhum, where we will be developing home-stay facilities. The decision comes in the wake of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee laying a lot of emphasis on home-stay tourism. The Tourism department has come up with Home-stay Policy in 2017," a senior official of WBFDC said.
The state government has chosen Ilambazar for developing home-stay with the state Forest department working upon rejuvenation of Fossil Park that is spread over an area of 10 hectares across villages like Aamkhoi, Jambuni and a few others in the forest area of Ilambazar. The park was badly in need of renovation.
"Once this park is renovated, it will emerge as a major tourist attraction. It has its locational advantage with the distance from Shantiniketan being less than 10 km," a senior official of the state Forest department said. Fossilised wood is found extensively in Birbhum district and also in places like Ausgram in East Burdwan, Sonamukhi in Bankura and Garbeta in West Midnapore to name a few.
"We have also sent a proposal to the state Tourism department regarding development of home-stay in Sunderbans," said Ravinder Pall Saini, managing director of WBFDC.
It may be mentioned that the state Tourism department is offering attractive incentives for the promotion of home-stay tourism. "There will be exemption from paying luxury tax for three years on reimbursement basis, as per West Bengal Incentive Scheme 2015. The payment of electricity and water will be at domestic rate. There will be exemption from land conversion charges and property tax rate will also be as prescribed for residential purposes," a senior official of the state Tourism department pointed out.
The Tourism department is also assisting the home-stay owners in skill building and capacity building, so that they can run them professionally.