MUSTANG, June 26: Homestay service is gaining popularity along the trekking routes and tourist destinations across the country. Homestay involves private houses offering accommodation and sometimes food to paying guests. Homestay services are also flourishing along the popular trekking routes in Mustang, the once forbidden kingdom of Nepal.
As roads are reaching even the remotest parts of Mustang, homestay services are becoming popular in the district. Locals are taking keen interest to turn their homes into homestay facilities as there is no dearth of tourists seeking a local experience.
According to homestay operators, they signed up their house for homestay service as the local structures are able to win the hearts of the tourists. So far, however, such facilities are mostly concentrated in Thini of Gharapjhong Rural Municipality-5. Currently, there are 15 homestay facilities in the municipality.
Apart from that, locals of ward 2 of the municipality have also started the service. As of now, only a few houses of the ward have started homestay service.
People in many other settlements are also receiving training on homestay operation. Teams from Dhaulagiri Technical School are currently making preparations to provide trainings to locals in Pairothaplo and Ghasa of Thasang Rural Municipality. Likewise, locals of Muktinath areas are also received training on homestay service.
Local unit officials said homestay service has become a good source of income for the locals. “We have given priority to homestay operation. For that, we have also allocated Rs 500,000 for trainings and promotion,” said Aaita Prasad Thakali, chairman of Gharjhong Rural Municipality-1.
Although there are lovely settlements for tourists to stop by on their way to and from Muktinath and Lo Manthang, most of them stay in Jomsom while climbing up and in Beni while returning.
“We have a huge potential to tap those tourists. This is why homestay is in our priority,” said Chairman Thakali. “Besides, increase in local incomes helps to lessen migration of youths.”