Govt urged to introduce policy to streamline homestaysHomestay Association Nepal on Monday urged the government to draft appropriate policy to streamline the fastest- growing hospitality segments.
Homestay Association Nepal on Monday urged the government to draft appropriate policy to streamline the fastest- growing hospitality segments.
The association, which has 145 community-based homestays under its ambit, said the existing guidelines do not have an effective policy to managing the business and lack laws to control its haphazard expansion.
“The government encouraged homestays during the Nepal Tourism Year 2011, but failed to bring an appropriate policy to facilitate and manage them,” said Bhim KC, president of the association. “Locals have invested heavily in this unique hospitality sector, particularly to promote rural or village tourism, but due to the lack of a policy, they are being exposed to some critical problems.”
Issues like people carrying out different activities by registering their firms in the name of homestays, unpredictable quality and standards of operations, over commercialisation, and such facilities turning into cheap hotels have hampered efforts to build trust and improve the industry’s reputation, the association said.
Living in a Nepali village as a homestay guest is perhaps one of the fastest and the best ways to know real Nepal. Daily cultural activities are major attractions of the scheme. The Tara Gaon Development Board has been assigned to identify unexplored destinations to develop this programme considered an alternative to village tourism. Narad Luitel, chairman of the board, said they had committed to invest 70 percent of the income earned by Hyatt Regency Kathmandu for the development of homestays, but unfortunately, the hotel has not been able to earn profits for the last 17 years. The board has 30 percent stake in Hyatt Regency Kathmandu.
“It’s a matter of investigation why the hotel has failed to make profits, while all other five-star hotels in the Kathmandu Valley are doing a good job,” he said. “However, we have a number of programmes to promote homestays.”
In 2011, the Nepal Tourism Year campaign heralded the start of a new kind of hospitality service in the tourism sector. according to a survey conducted by Nepal Rastra Bank last year, homestays have a positive impact on the environment and improve the quality of people’s lives.
The study titled “Dallagaon Homestay and Its Sustainability”, which was conducted in Bardia district, states the service has a great influence on creating awareness about health, education, income, social harmony and women empowerment in rural areas.
For example, prior to the launch of the homestay programme, Dallagaon village was very dirty. The people would throw garbage on the streets. After the homestay programme was launched, the picture has changed. Waste papers and plastics are put in dustbins.
Similarly, the rise in homestay activities has boosted the sales of local agro products in the village benefiting the entire community, the study showed.
Gurung passes away at 83
KATHMANDU: Pioneer of homestays in Nepal and former lawmaker Rudraman Gurung passed away on Saturday. He was 83. Gurung died in course of treatment at Himal Nursing Home in Kathmandu. Gurung helped in developing Sirubari area of Syangja as the first village tourism in Nepal.