They say homestay service has been started to stop youth from deserting their villages in search of jobs in foreign countries.
Ten homes each in two villages have started homestay service. Kalawang is the tourist destination in Pokhara Sub-Metropolitan City while Ranagaun is the birthplace of legendary Poet Bhanubhakta Acharya. Locals of Ranagaun said homestay facility in the birthplace of legendary poet Bhanu Bhakta Acharya will lure Nepali and foreign tourists.
Prakash Gurung, vice president of Kalawang Ghaderi Homestay Management Committee, said they started homestay service to prevent local youth from leaving for greener pastures abroad. “Many youth have already left the village. The village is gradually wearing a deserted look. We hope the homestay service will encourage youth to remain in the village by providing them source of income generation,” said Gurung.
Kalawang Ghaderi is 15 kilometers away from Pokhara city. There are 156 households in the village. The ten homes, which have started homestay facility, can accommodate 30 persons at a time.
“These homes have the necessary infrastructures required to serve tourists,” said Gurung.
Niraj Thapa, chairman of Asian Forum, which helped to promote homestay services in Kalawang Ghaderi and Ranagaun, said they plan to helped local villagers to increase their income level through tourism. He also said his organization plans to train local youth to run home-stay services. “We need better infrastructure and trained manpower to serve tourists,” he added. “We believe we can retain youth in the village by providing them opportunities.”
Tourism entrepreneurs said homestay can help in tourism promotion in rural areas. “The focus of homestays should be in developing infrastructure and enhancing human resources,” Som Thapa, chairman of Pokhara Tourism Council, said.
Similarly, Shyam Thapa, chief of Pokhara Tourism Office, said homestays can play a big role in rural tourism promotion and help local people get benefits from tourism.
According to Pokhara Tourism Office, 54 villages in Gandaki and Dhaulagiri zones have started home-stay facility. They can accommodate 400 tourists at a time.