Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, RK Mathur, today launched the homestay incentive items for beneficiaries of Leh district under the New Homestay Policy organised by the Department of Tourism at Food Craft Institute in Takskithang. Member of Parliament from Ladakh, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal; Deputy Chairman, LAHDC Leh, Tsering Angchuk; Secretary, Tourism, Kacho Mehboob Ali Khan and Director, Tourism, Kunzes Angmo, were present during the event.
Stressing on the need to change the tourism model in Ladakh, LG Mathur emphasised that there should be geographical spread of tourism activities for the benefit of the rural people of Ladakh. He stated that homestays would enable in achieving the decentralisation of tourism activities, take us closer to achieving the goal of carbon-neutrality for Ladakh and also improve the standard of cleanliness. He advised that the Tourism Department may provide repeated trainings to the homestay owners to promote responsible tourism in Ladakh.
LG Mathur stated that good infrastructure, including clean rooms, heating facilities and hot running water along with clean and hygienic toilets are essential for homestays. He stressed on the need to train homestay owners on running the homestays along with equipping them with relevant information for tourists about the place, its history, culture, geology and flora and fauna, etc.
LG Mathur shared the efforts being made by the Administration for the documentation of the history of all the villages in Ladakh. He emphasised the need for village-specific trainings for the owners of the homestays. He stated that the Hill Councils, elected representatives and stakeholders in the tourism sector have huge roles to play in promoting homestays to make it a commercially successful venture. LG Mathur advised that a detailed website with a description of homestays may be developed.
LG Mathur shared that he had suggested to the Tourism Department to renovate existing homestays on a priority basis. He emphasised on the need to improve telecommunications and medical facilities for the convenience of the tourists staying in homestays.
LG Mathur called the distribution of homestay kits to the beneficiaries a major initiative by the Administration and stressed on the need to make this experiment successful. He distributed homestay kits to beneficiaries from different parts of Ladakh.
Member of Parliament from Ladakh, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, stressed on the need to improve the income of the people in rural areas and promote rural tourism in Ladakh. He suggested the convergence of government and private stakeholders for the successful operation of homestays in Ladakh.
Deputy Chairman, LAHDC Leh, Tsering Angchuk, appealed to the beneficiaries to avail the benefits of the scheme and successfully run the homestays.
Earlier, Secretary, Tourism, Kacho Mehboob Ali Khan, welcomed the guests while Director, Tourism, Kunzes Angmo, gave the vote of thanks.
Chief Wildlife Warden, Mufti Sajjad Hussain; Assistant Director, Tourism, Spalzes Angmo; Presidents of All Ladakh Tours Operator Association (ALTOA), All Ladakh Hotels and Guest House Association (ALHGHA) and Ladakh Mountain Guide Association; government officials and beneficiaries were present during the event.