Two dozen homestays registered in Gandaki, Dhaulagiri
POKHARA, April 16: Locals in around two dozen villages in Gandaki and Dhaulagiri zones have started providing homestay accommodation for tourists.
According to Tourism Office, Pokhara, homestay in three villages have been run privately while the remaining is promoted by local community. Giridhari Dhakal, chief of the office, said 12 villages in Kaski district are providing homestay facilities. Similarly, four villages in Parbat, three in Myagdi, two in Tanahun and one each in Gorkha and Syangja are providing such service.
“Many villages have started providing homestay facilities to tourists after the government enforced the homestay guidelines. This is a positive development,” Dhakal added.
These villages can accommodate 750 guests per day.
The homestay in Dhital Hemjakot has the largest capacity of accommodating 168 guests per day. Locals of Dhital Hemjakot have arranged 32 rooms for the purpose.
“These homestays are playing a great role in domestic tourism promotion. The new tourism product is turning out to be an alternative source of income for the locals,” said Dhakal.
As per the homestay guidelines, the people willing to provide homestay facilities must fulfill certain requirements, which includes proper toilet, regular water supply, good accommodation, hygiene and clean drinking water facility.
Som Thapa, president of Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) Pokhara Chapter, said the attraction of domestic tourists toward homestay is growing. “Domestic tourists also engage themselves in cultural activities of their host,” Thapa added.
Homestay facilities have helped villagers attract tourists to their areas. “We hardly used to see tourists in our village before we started homestay. Now, we are welcoming a good number of tourists,” said Kamala Gurung, president of Homestay Management Committee in Sardikhola, Kaski.
Though the number of domestic tourists to Sardikhola is growing, Gurung said they have been failing to attract good number of foreign tourists perhaps due to language barrier and lack of proper hygiene practices.