Machhapuchchhre Community Homestay back in business after 10 years

Published On: June 6, 2019 08:21 AM NPT By: DHAN BASNET

POKHARA, June 6: Tourists visiting Machhapuchchhre Community Organic Home Stay in Machhapuchchhre Rural Municipality in Kaski district are in for a treat. They get to consume organic vegetables grown in backyard of the homestay and meat from animals grown by the local people. There is no dearth of buyers for vegetables and meat, which were initially produced for visitors of the homestay, produced by the locals.

It has already been a year since Machhapuchchhre Community Organic Home Stay resumed operation. The homestay had ceased operation 10 years back due to lack of tourists. The homestay is now back to its feet, thanks to active involvement of the locals.

"We had shut down operations out of frustration back then," Aash Bahadur Gurung, the chairperson of Home Stay Management Committee, said. "We now focus on providing only the best products to our guests." 

The homestay, which started off with 20 homes, now has 23 households waiting for tourists. These households can cater 100 guests per night. 

"Each home has its own garden and there are around 15-20 poultry farms. Some locals have started goat farming. We produce almost everything that we consume," Gurung said, highlighting the commercial farming practices.

The homestay has two restaurants which serve organic breakfasts to guests during their stay in the village.

Machhapuchchhre Community Organic Home Stay served 3,600 tourists over the past year, statistics shows. Members from various organizations like Lions Club reach the picturesque homestay for refreshment. As the homestay lies on the Machhapuchchhre Model Trekking Route, it gets domestic and international tourists headed for Mardi Himal during tourist seasons. But as a shorter route to Mardi Himal is becoming popular among visitors these days, the homestay is not getting desired number of international tourists. Realizing the fact, office-bearers of the homestay are planning to take needful actions for bringing more tourists.

Caritas Nepal has been supporting the households in the village to promote the homestay. It is providing necessary agri training to the locals. 

"Our trainings encouraged the local people to resume the homestay. Visitor arrivals in the first year of operation was as per our expectations," Shova Acharya, coordinator of Caritas Nepal, Kaski, told Republica. 

The organization has invested Rs 34,000 in each home. It has also arranged loans at reasonable interest rates to the locals through Barah Agriculture Cooperative Organization. Caritas Nepal has also provided handicraft production training to the locals.

The Gandaki provincial government has taken a policy of promoting tourism in rural areas through homestays.

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