Uttarakhand signs MoU for homestays with online travel company
In the tie up, the homestay owners will have the luxury to decide the tariff and in lean season they can bring...
DEHRADUN: With the aim to promote homestays on national and international level, the Uttarakhand government on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with online travel portal MakeMyTrip. Uttarakhand has 2,100 homestays and this year, they intend to take the number up to 5,000.
The online travel company will provide training to homestay owners on hospitality, commercial activities, registration, inventory and tariff fixation, online review and rating, and on sustainable and responsible tourism.
Tourism secretary Dilip Jawalkar said, “By the next month, tourism department is going to conduct a survey of all the existing homestays and on basis of the facility provided by them and taking into consideration various other aspects, they would be rated. They would be rated under the categories of Platinum, Gold and Silver. This will help them in making the required upgrade and changes.”
The official pointed out that through the portal of the online travel company, the homestays of Uttarakhand would reach out to as many as 12 lakh people. “In addition to the homestays, it will also display the facilities provided to the people. The firm will also use other social media platforms to promote the homestays,” Jawalkar said.
On the commission charged by the online travel portal, Jawalkar said that the tariff would be fixed by the homestay owners. “The online travel firm will take 15% of the gross revenue as the commission and we have kept a provision that it cannot be increased for a period of three years. This will benefit the homestay owners,” the secretary added. In the tie up, the homestay owners will have the option to decide the tariff and in lean season they can bring down the rates as well.
At present, Uttarakhand has 2,100 homestays. “It is imperative for a person to stay in the house, which he intends to use as homestay. Therefore, one person can apply for one homestay only. If there are a cluster of five to six homestays in a village, the state government will help in developing the infrastructure,” Jawalkar said.
To boost homestays, the state government has decided to reimburse government officers and employees who stay in the homestays during their official visits. “The officers and employees would be required to show the bill for stay at homestays for reimbursement. We hope that this will give a further push to homestays in the state,” Jawalkar said.