Sunday, August 31, 2014

Following the Kenyan State Tourism Diversification, MTDC now asks villagers to turn houses into homestays...

Homestays is swiftly taking root in Kenya’s tourism sector. The government through directorate of tourism and a number of tourism institutions have appreciated the development of homestays concept in the country and are now promoting it to add some revenue to home owners. Kenya Community Based Tourism Network, one such organization has been developing the same after it introduced the concept to the government of Kenya in 2006. KECOBAT has now captured in its database over 1,650 and profiled over 200 homestays in Kenya.

In attempt to also promote homestays, the Indian government through Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) has also started homestays initiatives. The corporation has been urging villagers to turn their houses into homestay in order to get extra income from such enterprises. Additionally, MTDC has been at the forefront of training villagers to be eco-guides.

Vitthal Kirdat is one such villager who runs a food stall during the year, but has now been supported by a forest department and MTDC to initiate the concept of home stay. He has also made arrangements in two rooms with four beds each for a weekend stay. Kirdat has set up a website to help maximize on homestays.

Vaishali Chavan, the regional manager of MTDC, Pune, pointed out that due to the delay in the flowering activity, the rush of tourists was yet to begin. “We have been encouraging villagers to set aside extra rooms and offer beds and breakfast at their homes,” she said.

Homestay is an eco-tourism initiative and the economic benefits will be circulated in the village. This would ensure that not only Joint Forest Management Committee (JFMC) members were benefited through tourism on Kas but also the villagers.

More info from The Indian Express…

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