Ever thought of starting a Homestay business and placing it for rent on Airbnb? If yes, then this is a blog is for you. Homestays are gaining popularity among the businesses in unorganized sector all credits goes to the unique experiences which come along with it. In the top 50 emerging tourism destinations of India, homestays form 13 percent of the total accommodation. Building a hotel involves frequent investments; homestays, on the other hand, are created out of rooms which already exist within a property or an entire property in itself, hence involving nominal or no expenditure. Since travelers nowadays are on the lookout for an offbeat approach to learning more about a place or a destination, this concept seems both, lucrative and appealing at the same time.
The Ministry of Tourism classified fully operational terms of Bed and Breakfast/ Homestay facilities as 'Incredible India Bed and Breakfast/Homestay Establishments'. The idea behind this is to provide a clean and affordable place for foreigners and domestic tourists including an opportunity for foreign tourist to stay with an Indian family so as to experience Indian customs and traditions.
Incredible India Scheme of Bread and Breakfast regularizing Homestay License:
- Speaking of classification, Homestay Establishments is grouped as :
While the government of Rajasthan only considers Gold and Silver, Kerala, for instance, has a Diamond category added to the homestay too.
- Facilities and services provided will be checked by the Regional Classification Committee.
- Once approved by Ministry of Tourism, will be duly publicized. A directory of such establishments shall be prepared. Short-term training courses in hospitality sector will also be patronized
- It is important to get a license that the owner of the homestay (along with family) shall reside in the same establishment
- Homestay Establishment is expected to maintain the required standard. Any serious faults will be reported to the Department of Tourism and the Department is free to take any action including cancellation of the classification.
- The Committee may recommend a category either higher or lower than the one which you are applied for. In case of category higher than the one you are applied, you will have to deposit the required fee for the recommended category. However, in case of a lower category, there will be no refund of the extra fee.
- Any changes in the facilities of the unit should be reported to the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India within 30 days.
- After this, a recognition certification will be given to the owner.
Who can apply for Homestay License?
- Individuals or families who own a house of good quality in the state and can spare at least 2 rooms for tourist accommodation.
- The classification will be given only in those cases where the owner/promoter of the unit along with his/her family is physically residing in the same unit.
- A maximum number of rooms for offering to the tourists shall be limited to 5.
- At least one of the family members should be able to communicate in English.
- The houses in areas of tourism importance will get priority.
Application must be collected from the State Tourism Department Head office or from other concerned district offices. The application for Homestay License must be sent along with the requisite fee to the State Ministry of Tourism. Applications can even be sent to the district level. This makes easier for the establishment in small towns and rural areas.
Mandatory requirements at the time of submitting application form:
Along with the duly filled form, you would require:
- Proof of ownership/lease of the building.
- Location plan showing access to the building from the major roads.
- Plan and elevation of the existing building.
- One hard copy and one soft copy of the photographs of the building including the interiors.
- Police Clearance Certificate from the Local Station House Officer
After submission of application form, the representatives of the district government come in for a surprise inspection, following which a homestay is recognized and rated as per facility available. The process of acquiring an electrical connection is the same as that of a home, so it varies from state to state. The whole process might take a couple of years.
Application format for an estiblishment of homestay:
- Name of the Homestay Establishment.
- Category applied for
- Name and address of the promoters/owners with a note on their background
- Complete postal address of the Homestay Establishment
- Details of the Homestay Establishment.
- Photographs of the building including interiors showing types of facilities available, bathroom, living room, bedroom, parking etc.
- Details of payment of application fee
- Checklist details as per Annexure II
- Consent of acceptance of the regulatory conditions (please enclose a copy of the prescribed undertaking as per Annexure III duly signed by the owner of the establishment)
Still, in its nascent stage in India, homestays are gradually increasing their presence to meet the existing demand. To list a homestay establishment on any directory, offline or online, procuring Homestay License would be necessary.
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