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Wednesday, 18 November, 2020, 11 : 00 AM [IST]

Odisha to offer financial assistance for homestays at eco-tourism spots from 2021 for 10 years

The Odisha government has decided to promote homestay facilities at nature trails and eco-spots to attract more tourists. It will also extend support to such facilities from next fiscal. Chairing a meeting, Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy directed the Tourism Department to develop homestays in remote areas untouched by hotel network and ensure quality hospitality, hygiene and safety of the tourists at such facilities. 

It was also decided that homestay facilities would be supported from the financial year 2021-22 for a period of 10 years. These homestays should be linked with global online travel aggregators such as airbnb, OYO, MakeMyTrip, etc. and onboarded to their respective sites, Tripathy said.

“Nature trail and experiential tourism is the fad, and, Odisha has much to offer in this sector,” Tripathy said. As homestay has the potential to promote local entrepreneurship, he asked Tourism and Forest & Environment departments to train local homestay unit owners and field level officials so that they could provide best cultural, cuisine and social experiences to the tourists.

Tourist spots like Diamond Triangle Buddhist Circuit (Ratnagiri-Udayagiri-Lalitgiri); Onkadelli in Koraput district; Khola, Gupti, Dangmala, Bhitarkanika national park in Kendrapara district; Daringibadi, Belghar in Kandhamal; Simlipal, Pithabata, Jashipur in Mayurbhanj; Tikarpada, Satakosia in Angul; Mangalajodi, Chilika in Khurda district; and, Dhodrokusum, Zero point in Bargarh district will be promoted for homestay facilities in the first phase. 

At present, homestays in Magalajodi and Dangmala are showing encouraging results. Such facilities at other places will attract more tourists and expand economic activities in rural sector. It can be tapped as a sustainable source of livelihood and income generation activity, Tourism Secretary Vishal Dev said. The meeting deliberated on promotional assistance to homestay providers. It was decided that around 80 homestay providers at these places would be incentivised each year with financial support. (Source: The New Indian Express)

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