International Tourism Mart: Focus on promoting staycations; homestays and personalised care

The tourism ministry is tailoring its promotional campaigns to highlight staycations, focusing on homestays offering personal care and local experience to tourists post the COVID-19 pandemic, according to officials in the ministry.In fact, promoting homestays has been the focus of the three-day 9th International Tourism Mart being held here, with the ministry urging owners to register themselves with the Central portal.During the event, the ministry also felicitated 20 such homestay-owners across rural Nagaland who were running such establishments.


PTI | Kohima | Updated: 29-11-2021 15:30 IST | Created: 29-11-2021 15:30 IST
International Tourism Mart: Focus on promoting staycations; homestays and personalised care
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The tourism ministry is tailoring its promotional campaigns to highlight staycations, focusing on homestays offering personal care and local experience to tourists post the COVID-19 pandemic, according to officials in the ministry.

In fact, promoting homestays has been the focus of the three-day 9th International Tourism Mart being held here, with the ministry urging owners to register themselves with the Central portal.

During the event, the ministry also felicitated 20 such homestay-owners across rural Nagaland who were running such establishments. ''While we saw a demand for such homestays just before the pandemic, now, it is through the roof. We are tailoring our promotional campaigns to promote homestays. Tourists don't want big hotels anymore. They want big open spaces, personalised care and want to experience the local flavor. We are also promoting staycations,” said Rupinder Brar, Additional Director General in the ministry.

The idea, officials said, was to use existing real estate to drive the economy in rural areas. According to a tourism ministry official, homestays -- that allows visitors to rent rooms from local families -- are also a great alternative for the sector to fill the void of around 200,000 hotel rooms in the country.

In fact, in Nagaland capital city of Kohima, where tourism primarily involves trekking and adventure sports, all that the homestays need is basic amenities.

For 29-year-old Thejasevi, a graduate of Delhi's St Stephen's College and with a degree in financial management, turning his home into a homestay was a calculated business plan which needed little investment.

''This has worked out better than I could have ever hoped for. I get a lot of guests and most of them are repeat customers,'' he said.

His property, Akim Homestay -- which means ''God will help'' -- is also helping sustain three other homestays in the region.

''I have four rooms and whatever bookings come to me after that I pass it on to the others. So, at any given time we all are absolutely full,'' said Thejasevi who gets his bookings from online aggregators.

He offers big rooms for Rs 3,000 a night while the smaller rooms are priced at Rs 2,000. This includes breakfast.

Guests can also get lunch and dinner on making additional payments. The 29-year-old grows his own vegetables and harvests rainwater in view of the scarcity of water in the region. In an indication of what the success of such small business could mean to the community, Thejasevi is now building a 5,000 square feet football field near his house to promote the state’s favourite sport.

''Homestays have emerged as a very strong vertical and we are focused on it. In February, we held a workshop on homestays in Darjeeling where 500 owners had registered. As many as 725 came for the workshop,'' said Brar.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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