Kochi

Homestay classification to be made simpler

Promotional stalls at the third edition of Homestays and Rural Tourism Travel Meet in the city on Friday.

Promotional stalls at the third edition of Homestays and Rural Tourism Travel Meet in the city on Friday.  

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They can opt to get certified by Central agencies too, says Kerala Tourism Director

Kerala Tourism (KT) is reworking its guidelines to classify homestays and to make them simpler, in order to ensure that all homestays register with the agency, Director of Kerala Tourism, P. Bala Kiran, has said.

This comes in the wake of only 400 of the total 3,000 homestays in the State having been classified so far, leaving the vast majority of them unregulated. “The fresh guidelines are almost finalised and a Government Order (GO) on this is awaited. As per the new guidelines, the registration and renewal fee have been lessened to ₹500, from the present ₹2,000 to ₹4,500. Similarly, rainwater harvesting and solar power have been made optional. But there will be no dilution of norms regarding safety and hygiene,” he said, on the sidelines of the third edition of Homestays and Rural Tourism Travel Meet, that is on at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium here till Sunday.

Currently, ₹35,000 has to be paid to obtain six certificates from tourism and other agencies, to get silver, gold or diamond classification.

The development comes in the wake of numerous homestay operators complaining that theirs is a residential home, where guests are accommodated in a few rooms, and not a hotel. On local bodies imposing commercial tariff on building tax charged on homestays, Mr. Kiran said that this issue will be taken up with the Minister for Local Self Government.

He said that it is illegal to term a building where over six rooms are let out for accommodating guests as a homestay. There is another list of guidelines to classify service villas, since the owner need not stay in the same building.

Homestay owners can also register with Union Ministry of Tourism and get classified, based on a set of guidelines, which include a 38-point check list, said Sandhya Haridas, Assistant Director of the Central agency. A few owners are keen to register with both the State and Central tourism agencies, in order to boost brand value, it is learnt.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 10:55:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/homestay-classification-to-be-made-simpler/article29535465.ece

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