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Tourist homestay scheme approved

PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has approved home hospitality scheme at tourist hotspots to reduce pressure on hotels and help the local community reap the dividends of fast flourishing tourism sector in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The scheme, to be initially launched in Swat, Chitral and Mansehra envisages giving small loans to local households to build 500 rooms having all amenities to cater to the tourists’ needs, a senior official of the tourism department said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was on a daylong trip to Swat on Friday, was given a briefing on the home hospitality scheme.

“The prime minister seemed exceedingly pleased with the concept and appreciated it,” the official said.

This is like Airbnb on a local scale,” explained Abid Majeed, secretary department of tourism and culture, while referring to an American online marketplace for home stays and hospitality.

“The scheme has a huge upside potential with a byproduct of engaging people of the area within the framework of tourism policy of KP,” he said.

He said homestay tourism offered an accommodation where a tourist got a chance to live with the host family and experienced the local culture.

He said a total of 500 rooms would be established in all the three districts at a tentative cost of Rs200 million, approximately Rs400,000 for each room complete with all facilities.

Those rooms, he added, would be established and renovated according to the standard parametres.

The secretary said the proposed amount would be disbursed on interest-free loan basis to selected households through the Bank of Khyber.

He said the proposed home would be within five kilometres vicinity of the main trade centre in the area where other hotels existed and that the potential applicants should have a reasonable education level as preference would be given to educated families.

He said repayment of loan period would be up to five years depending on assessment of the area and entrepreneur. With one hotel room for every 5,500 inhabitants, Pakistan has fewer hotel rooms per capita than Egypt (1:98), Indonesia (1:65) and every other comparable country of its size.

The secretary said funds from youth affairs schemes of similar nature would also be utilised to help educated young men of less than 29 years of age.

“This will have a tourist multiplier effect,” he pointed out. “The government will also think of loans for the camping pods too which can be set up in a three- to five-marla plots,” he said. “We are endeavouring to bring tourists to the doorsteps of our famed hospitality,” he added.

“This is the first time that we are trying to help the local community to reap the dividends of tourism in their own areas and own tourism. It will also offer tourists an opportunity to find relatively cheap accommodation, away from the often congested hustle and bustle of main tourist centres, and get a taste of local culture and hospitality.”

 

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3 Comments
  1. Ahmad says

    With this bloody homestay thing, the houses, villages etc in Chitral, will certainly turn into INFAMOUS guesthouses in the streets in downtown. Who doesn’t know the reputation of these guesthouses in cities such as Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, etc.
    The reputation of the hotels and guesthouses in Chitral is no more a secret. But even then if some people still think that is not enough, do CONVERT your houses into sarai khanas. But make sure one thing that the people of Chitral will NOT allow these GREEDY MATERIALIST to defame the area for the sake of few bucks.

  2. Ahmad says

    The home hospitality scheme of the Mehmood Khan administration is ‘DUMBEST and MOST FLAWED” scheme I have ever seen. For instance, let us take the example of Chitral. The valley is known for its hospitality, decency of its people and friendship. With this STUPID scheme, the people of Chitral will no longer be able to maintain the feather in their cap which they have been wearing for so many for their hospitality.

    To cut the long story short: With this dub scheme, the whole Chitral will tun into Kalash valley. We do not want to be called Kalash. This home hospitality is being being practiced in Kalash valley for so many many years (they may not be charging the guests, but they do accommodate people in their homes). If it has been so brilliant an idea, the Kalsh would have been the richest long ago.

    With due apology, allow me to say that there are people which will go to any extent to attract the guests under the garb of so-called hospitality. Accommodating a complete stranger under the pretext of home hospitality will DESTROY everything – its culture, the so-called sharaft, tehzeeb, etc.

    The people of Chitral MUST get united to discourage these kind of things being intentionally promoted by some quarters on the behest of NGO walas which are making all out efforts to destroy the traditions of areas like Chitral in the name of so-called tourism.

    I would also like to warn those dancing to the tune of the NGO walas to spend their money where their mouth is as they are as “CERTIFIED NABEHEL” and have nothing in their credit to be proud of. Do whatever you like in your individual capacity as we will neither allow YOU nor your government to promote these stupid things. PERIOD.

  3. Syed Harir Shah says

    We appreciate govt decision to promote community based socio eco tourism in KPK. Chitral Travel Bureau, an inbound dedtination management tour company is promoting homestay tourism for three years with existing facilities of 30 homes in lower and upper chitral.
    The project will complement this approch by improving the existing basis facilities within their properties. We will be much more pleased to extend our emerical learning to govt and tourism department in this endevoure.
    info@chitraltravel.com.
    Website: http://www.chitraltravel.com

    Mobile and whatsapp +923015056433

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