In 2012, I wrote about Himachali Home Stay scheme launched in 2008. Here is a quick update on the scheme.
Himachal Pradesh Government introduced the scheme, based on Incredible India Bed and Breakfast scheme of the Indian Ministry of Tourism, for the following reasons:
- To standardize home stay facilities.
- To create affordable and clean accommodation options in rural destinations.
- To provide an opportunity to experience the local culture.
- To encourage community-based tourism that creates employment.
Data Source: Survey by Kashyap Hiramani
The efforts are bearing fruit: Home stays have become popular accommodation alternatives in the parts of the Himalayas. A mini survey by Kashyap, Hiramani (2014) corroborates the change in the stay preferences. The home stays are actually giving good competition to traditional hotels.
The survey data collected from the two popular tourist regions, Kullu and Shimla, shows that
- 42 home stay rooms in Kullu accommodated 64,356 people in 2011-13.
- 30 home stay rooms in Shimla accommodated 33,050 visitors in the period.
- Shimla home stays recorded an increase of more than 30% in the number of guests in 2012 and 2013 vis-à-vis previous years.
- Kullu recorded an increase of less than 20% in the number of guests in 2012 and 2013 as compared to the last years although it sold 40% more rooms (42) than Shimla (30).
- Kullu home stays on an average hosted 1,532.29 guests per room, whereas Shimla home stays hosted 1,101.67 guests per room.