Chitlang folk earning up to Rs100k a monthHomestay service providers in Chitlang are making a lot of hay these days, as more and more domestic tourists are visiting the relatively new tourist destination located at a distance of around 12 km from Thankot, Kathmandu.
Homestay service providers in Chitlang are making a lot of hay these days, as more and more domestic tourists are visiting the relatively new tourist destination located at a distance of around 12 km from Thankot, Kathmandu.
Hordes of people from Kathmandu, which is filled with dust, visit Chitlang almost every day to get a fresh breath of air, occupying most of the rooms at homestay facilities. This has helped homestay operators in the tourist destination located in Makwanpur district to earn Rs30,000 to Rs100,000 per month, according to Buddha Ratna Manandhar, operator of Gurjudhara Homestay.
Chitlang, a part of the ancient trading route which linked Kathmandu with the rest of the country before the construction of Tribhuvan Highway, was out of the radar of most of the domestic and foreign tourists for long. But the launch of Thankot-Chandragiri cable car service and upgradation of 12km Thankot-Chandragiri-Chitlang road segment changed everything. Today, the destination attracts over 1,000 tourists per week.
Currently, around 12 homestay facilities are catering services in Chitlang, which is famous for trout fish and goat cheese. Each of these facilities can accommodate 15 to 100 tourists. In total, existing homestay facilities in Chitlang can house around 200 tourists. Most of these homestay facilities are fully booked most of the time, according to Ram Krishna Basnet, operator of Kaji Homestay.
“This surge in flow of tourists has lifted the confidence of homestay service providers,” said Basnet. “But the problem is we cannot cater to the demand especially during weekends, and have to ask tourists to find rooms in resorts. So, there is no alternative to increasing the number of homestay facilities.”
The first homestay facilities were established in Chitlang around six years ago. At that time, locals had sought support of the then District Development Committee of Makwanpur to extend
training on homestay promotion. Following this, four homestay facilities had
started providing services to tourists.
“Since then, the number of homestay facilities has gone up but they are not adequate to keep up with the market demand,” said Manandhar, adding, “We need more homestay facilities.”
According to a survey conducted by Nepal Rastra Bank, homestays have a positive impact on the environment and improve the quality of people’s lives.
A study titled “Dallagaon Homestay and Its Sustainability” conducted in Bardia, states the service has a great influence on creating awareness about health, education, income, social harmony and women empowerment in rural areas.
One of the major attractions of Chitlang is boat riding in a lake located at Markhu. The place is also home to chaityas made during the time when Emperor Ashok was living and temples made during the rule of Kiranti kings.