HAS thanks CM for tabling Mega Homestay Project in Assembly


SAGAR CHETTRI

GANGTOK, 17 June: Homestay Association of Sikkim [HAS] expressed that the introduction of the Mega Homestay Project by the Chief Minister PS Tamang has laid the foundation of sustainable and eco-friendly tourism and to boost rural tourism in the State. While expressing their deep gratitude to the CM for this Mega Homestay Project, HAS members assured to extend all possible support to the government through their experiences and suggestions for the grand success of the project in the State. They thanked the State government for this initiative to establish 1,000 homestays of three rooms and other amenities in the State to further boost tourism in the State and to create jobs and other opportunities for people of Sikkim.

Addressing a press conference here this afternoon, HAS president Jigmee Dorjee Bhutia welcomed the endeavour of the State government and assured to extend all support to the government for the success of the project and to provide homestay to the genuine and interested beneficiaries. He expressed that this mega homestay project would not only boost the tourism in the State but would create lots of job opportunities for local youths. He stated that HAS members would extend its all support to the government and the department through their rich experiences in the homestay.

HAS general secretary, Pintso Gyatso Bhutia stated that such a visionary initiative would help to promote homestays and to encourage local youths to earn better through rural tourism activities. He asserted that everyone needs to work together for the success of this project.

Likewise, a HAS executive member Karma Thutup asserted upon the marketing and promotion of homestays for its sustainability and to create more opportunities for the people. On the same, he urged the authority to discuss these issues with the concerned stakeholders.

Another HAS executive member, Abhishek Rai stressed upon the need of skill development programmes to build a skilled manpower in this sector. He also listed out various skill development and other activities at different parts of the State to homestay owners and aspiring youths.

Similarly, a HAS executive member, Swarna Lata Gurung speaks upon the importance of women in running homestays successfully. He encouraged more women to come forward in this sector to be self-reliant.

In a press release, HAS publicity secretary Tshering Thendup Bhutia stated that the project will greatly benefit entrepreneurs in Sikkim who are looking to build a new homestay and earn a livelihood through tourism. He added that it also has the potential boost rural tourism in Sikkim in a big way with many new homestays being built in rural locations.

“To ensure the project success, a well thought out execution plan could be created after taking into consultation all relevant stakeholders including travel agents, homestay owners, architects, etc. This would result in a comprehensive plan with inputs from different people specializing in different fields,” he said.

It is informed that during the earlier homestay program [about 8 to 9 years back], many homestays were built with Government aid but there was no plan to promote the homestays once they were built, resulting in huge investments but very little return. It is further added that to avoid such a situation this time around, the Association requests that Marketing be made a key component of the project and a well thought out plan be chalked out to promote these homestays once they are built.

“The Mega Homestay Project could be a big game changer for the tourism industry in Sikkim and the Homestay Association of Sikkim promises to extend every support possible to the Government to make this project a huge success,” the release adds.