Home stay scheme finally cleared



Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh government has finally adopted the ‘Himachal Pradesh Home Stay Scheme-2008’ with a view to involve the entire state in tourism promotion activities. The scheme was specially designed to give boost to rural tourism by offering various incentives to the prospective entrepreneurs which include, no charges by Town and Country Planning Department for change of land use, exemption (up to 3 rooms) from Luxury and Sales Tax/VAT and electricity and water charges at domestic tariff in respect of registered home stay units.

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  1. The problem with the homestay scheme till now has been that it has not been marketed properly. There is no information or literature about the properties already enlisted. HPTDC website on its reservation page lists the name of the property and the tariff which is not informative at all.

    The govt must create a website, enlisting these properties district wise with proper pictures and instructions on how to reach, contact details, distances and what to see around. Leaving the homestays to be marketed by HPTDC would be sucidal. The govt can rope in private players like Shoghi Communications etc. to popularise the scheme. Simply copying the concept from states like Kerala would not be enough.

    A little off topic but can anyone tell the mandarians in the Tourism deptt. to update its website. The site lacks the quality to excite people to make them visit Himachal. The hotel directory needs a lot of updation. The site has no information about where to get inner line permits for foreigners visiting Kinnaur and Spiti. This site is the first reference point for any traveler visiting the state and important informations are missing.

    Under Access page, small informations like from which bus terminal buses leave for Himachal should be mentioned. There are 5-6 bus terminals in Delhi. Starting point of VOLVO buses (Mandi House) should also be mentioned. These are small but valueable points which goes into planning a journey for a traveler.

  2. Though a delayed one, a welcome decision it is.

    And it is felt that all the needful and much desired sincere efforts shall be made by the concerned departments to make this newly adopted ‘Himachal Pradesh Home Stay Scheme-2008’and shall be put to effectively all over the state of Himachal so as to promote and build up strong tourism. The Scheme would surely contribute towards economic upliftment and improvement of people in evry nook and corner of Himachal, be it the interior areas and would in a way also boost rural tourism which so far has remained quite untapped.

    Home Stay Scheme would also give an opportunity for tourists to get closer to Himachali culture, tradition, way of living, through close interaction with the Himachalis.

    The Scheme should not be restricted to year 2008 only in its scope of period of operation as it is gathered from the title ‘Himachal Pradesh Home Stay Scheme-2008’.

    It may be spread over a decade or so like a tax holiday period extended to the industial units in order to promote business growth potential in the State.

    It is hoped that all the best possible incentives shall be made available to the facilitators of tourism services from their homes for the guests – 'Atithi Homes' as it may be called, what I feel. It is also desirable that the providers shall be provided all the inputs in running the Homes in day to day life, and, will also be kept updated & equipped with all the desired information on the tourism circuit, latest develeopments, etc. in the State.

    So, it is with all the hope and belief that the Himachal Pradesh Home Stay Scheme should be launched with all the sincerity, zest and zeal for making Himachal an ultimate place for the travelling people to opt for with all the courteous, friendly, loving and caring nature, attitude that may be expected from the host in Hiamchal all over from times to come.

    With best wishes and regards

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