Tourist boom spurs homestay growth in J&K, adds 13,000 rooms

Tourist boom spurs homestay growth in J&K, adds 13,000 rooms

Srinagar, Mar 05: The growing number of tourist arrivals for the last few years has flourished the concept of homestays in Jammu and Kashmir.

Their increasing numbers has subsequently enhanced the room capacity in Jammu and Kashmir, which for the last few years has been receiving record-breaking tourists arrivals.

As per the figures available with the news agency, as many as 1,485 homestays have been registered across the Union Territory so far.

These 1485 homestays have led to the addition of 13,000 rooms for tourists especially those who look for affordable accommodations.

In February 2022, the Jammu and Kashmir administration and a leading global chain of hotels and vacation homes, launched the rural homestay project ‘Crown of Incredible India’.

The administration then announced ₹50,000 special financial assistance to youth willing to set up a homestay unit.

Since then homestays have mushroomed in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in border areas and villages, which offer heritage tourism.

“While the concept of homestays was already in Kashmir, we saw more and more homestays coming up in various parts of the valley post Covid-19. From city to towns and far-flung villages, homestays have been set up by youth which provide affordable accommodation to the visitors,” said an official of the tourism department.

The Unique Selling Proposition (USP) of these homestays lies in their ability to offer an authentic experience of the region. Unlike conventional hotels, which often provide a more standardized experience, homestays allow visitors to immerse themselves in the local culture and lifestyle.

“Staying in a homestay gives travelers a chance to connect with the essence of Kashmiri hospitality. Guests get to experience our traditions, cuisine, and warmth firsthand,” says Mohammad Shafi, who runs a homestay in the scenic town of Pahalgam.

For tourists, the appeal of homestays lies not only in their affordability but also in the personalized experience they offer. Many travelers seek to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and yearn for a more tranquil and intimate setting.

“Staying in a homestay allowed me to experience the true essence of Kashmir. The hosts treated me like family, and I got to explore the region through their eyes. It was an unforgettable experience,” remarked Supriya, a tourist from Mumbai, who arrived in Kashmir last week—(KNO)

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