Internal tourists rescue failing homestay biz of one Bhaktapur village

- Anup Ojha, Bhaktapur

Nov 15, 2014-

The number of guests visiting Bastola homestay village in Nagarkot, Bhaktapur, is increasing steadily, after a long period of low turnout that threatened the entire business.

The saviour came in the form of domestic tourists who started visiting this village located just 8 km northeast from Bhaktapur. The homestay service, which was criticised for failing to attract tourists during the Nepal Tourism Year 2011, is gaining popularity in the recent time. The place has become the model homestay village of Bhaktapur district.

According to Nagarkot Homestay Rural Tourism Management Committee (NHRTMC), Bastola homestay village hosted 407 guests in the previous fiscal year, of them 325 were Nepalis.

Suraj Bastoala, chairman of NHRTMC, said each household earned between Rs 50,000-70,000 in the previous fiscal year. He said that they expect the number of visitors and the income to double this fiscal.  Among 17 households in the village, 12 houses have been offering homestay service.    

A majority of the guests that visit the village are from KathmanduValley. The village is just a 45-minute ride from Kathmandu.

“One can find a homely environment in a natural setting. People come here for refreshment and we offer homestay service at nominal rates,” said Suroj Bastola, one of the homestay operators.

Besides Nepalis, Korean, Chinese, Swiss and Indian nationals also stay in the village every now and then, he added.

While Bastola village has made a noticeable improvement, the other villages that offer homestay service, including Byasi, Golmadhi, Kamal Vinayak, Taumadi Square, Suryavinayak, and Icchu, are not faring well.

“Nepali people prefer to visit Nagarkot. Bastola village offers opportunity to experience real village life as well as view,” said Ram Sunder Bhele, secretary of Bhaktapur Tourism Development Committee (BTDC).

He added that the BTDC is planning to work with Bhaktapur Municipality and District Development Office to promote homestay in the area.

“This district has its distinct culture and traditions. We are doing our best to run homestays without hampering our heritages,” Bhele said.  

Since Bhaktapur does not have big hotels to accommodate the increasing number of tourists, Bhele said homestay programme could be a good solution. He said that effective promotion campaign and service expansion could give a new lease of life to homestay business in Bhaktapur. 

Published: 16-11-2014 09:10

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