Homestays, which may be seen as a vital component of tourism in future, will be given Responsible Tourism Mission (RT) partner approval, provided they strictly follow the vision and norms of the heritage-oriented hospitality initiative, said Kerala Tourism Director P Bala Kiran.
“The classification will be in platinum, gold and silver categories,” Bala Kiran said while inaugurating a one-day workshop cum orientation programme for homestays and service villas of Kerala here on Tuesday.
The event was organized by Trivandrum chapter of Kerala Hats, a consortium of homestay promoters, in association with the Kerala Tourism Department.
Bala Kiran said it was important for a homestay owner to create a milieu for the guests to experience local cuisine, art and life in their full essence. “The guest must get the feel of participation in the family during his stay. Apart from ensuring the guest’s safety and security, the homestay owners should encourage the guests to give their feedback without bothering about the nature of comments,” he added.
E.M. Najeeb, Member, Advisory Committee, Kerala Tourism, and Vice President, Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), who was the chief guest, said that homestays play a key role in the current scenario of tourism as tourists increasingly prefer enjoying a unique experience of local life to a conventional accommodation facility.
P.K. Anish Kumar, Member, Advisory Committee, Kerala Tourism, briefed the participants on the nuances of “Digital Marketing.” Dr B. Vijayakumar, Former Principal, Kerala Institute Tourism and Travel Studies (KITTS), led a session on “Homestay Business”, in which he elaborated on the possibilities of reviving our dwindling local art forms for the guests to elevate the concept of homestay.