Millennium Post

Union Tourism Ministry approves 21 Homestays in Bengal hills

The Union Ministry of Tourism has approved 21 new ‘Homestays’ in the hills in the state.

The new Homestays will not only boost the inbound and overseas tourists at the hills, but also uplift the local economy.

The hills have the reputation of tea-tourism across the globe. The orange fields, bamboo made church made by Lepchas, British relics and mountains alongside the Himalayas are splendid to watch. However, the Bengal government will soon be ready with its ‘Homestay Policy’ to facilitate thousands of middle-class families in the tourist spots.

The Homestays could enhance the micro and small entrepreneurs (MSEs) engaging the local work force. Thus, the government felt that a separate policy is required to frame it.

The Homestay in the tourist destination is now a very popular concept worldwide. It is a form of tourism or study abroad system which 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 now find their best accommodations in homestay in India.

The local hoteliers however have showed interest to join hands with the residents to expand homestay. The people are generally enjoys to stay at homely place rather to pass time at hotels – particularly in hills.

So the hoteliers are now concentrating more on investing in Homestays. “The ministry has recognised some of the Homestays here. Our state government has already started to boost the Homestays and will make the policy to encourage the locals here. It is the best time to invest in Homestays in the hills,” said a local hotelier.

The policy will include the entire circuit – legal and safety sides, food and accommodation, rents as well as tour guides for the guests. The families involved in Homestays would be brought under Bed & Breakfast Scheme, which will help them get a tie-up with Incredible India.

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.
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