Ministry of Tourism promotes Small Hotels and Homestays to create entrepreneurial and job opportunities in rural areas

The Ministry of Tourism is responsible for the promotion of Tourism in the country and implements various schemes for creation of infrastructure, marketing and promotion, and skill development initiatives for tourism, which can be leveraged for the promotion and development of homestays and small hotels.

The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India through its voluntary scheme grants classification/approval including for 1-3 category of both new hotel projects and operational hotels as well as classification of heritage hotels, legacy hotels, motels, and homestays/B&Bs in the country, through the National Integrated Data of Hospitality Industry (NIDHI) portal. The classification and recognition accorded by the Ministry gives credibility to the accommodation unit.

Ministry of Tourism has also formulated a National Strategy for Promotion of Rural Homestays. One of the main objectives of this strategy is to create entrepreneurial and job opportunities in rural areas. The document, inter alia, emphasizes on the need for consideration of eligible Rural Homestay projects under schemes such as Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) to promote self-employment, village industries and other schemes for promotion and development of MSME service enterprises under Central and State Governments.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Tourism has also formulated a National Strategy and Roadmap for Development of Rural Tourism in India in consultation with line Ministries including Ministry of Women & Child Development, all State Governments, and industry stakeholders. The Strategy document aims at convergence of various schemes relating to, inter alia, empowerment of women so that opportunities in rural tourism are availed by women and tourism is able to act as a vehicle for development and empowerment of women.

Additionally, Ministry of Tourism under its Capacity Building for Service Providers (CBSP) scheme has introduced a 150-hour Homestay course as a part of its reforms keeping in view the dynamic inputs received from the sector on the skill gap. The objective of the training program is to train those aspiring youth and homestay owners who have the potential to develop the Homestay business in the tourist spots across pan India including rural and inaccessible hilly areas. This program creates a sense of professionalism, high end skills in operation of homestay which result into endless number of sustainable Human Resource in tourism industry. In the NIDHI portal, the accommodation units cannot be segregated into small and big hotels including homestays during the registration stage.

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