Homestays in Coorg

Karnataka tourism department’s  gripe is that most homestays in Kodagu  ignore  them in the matter of registration.  Of the 1000 odd homestays in the coffee district no more than 240 have registered  themselves with the tourism dept.  For most  homestay owners  ‘registration’  translates into ‘regulations’ , an annual tax of up to  Rs.15,000 , and  grading of homestays into ‘silver’ and  ‘gold’  class.  The state tourism director says homestays  registered with them come in for inspection and regulation.

Question is whether tourism dept.  registration,  or the lack of it,  weighs  with tour operators.  Does registration  help homestay owners  increase their business ?  That three out of every four homestays in Coorg haven’t gone in for registration with the department conveys its own message. The tourism dept. would have us believe that registration ensures upkeep of  standards laid down by the department.  But then there are well-maintained homestays that are not registered with the dept.,  says a newspaper report.   A report in The Hindu cites  manager of a tourist information centre as saying complaints regarding inadequate amenities, poor service, and even harassment of guests have become common,  apparently,  because of so many unregistered homestays.   Doesn’t he mean  that  unregistered units are suspect ?

I , for one , would like to see The Hindu carrying a follow-up  report telling us what homestay owners have to say, and   why so many of them  in Kodagu haven’t found it necessary to  registered their units with the department.  Apparently, they are not  losing business by staying unregistered.  Homestays  represent a niche in the hospitality sector,  and in  Madikeri and its surroundings their  numbers  make it a highly competitive  enterprise.  In such business environment  you can’t get away with shoddy  service.  Pleasing tourists with good service plus  something about which they talk to friends or  write home about is key to staying in the homestay business. The type of tourists who opt for homestay  come informed and  know enough about what to expect, where ,  anywhere they travel.  Their source of information are varied –  homestay websitesFacebook pagestravel  blogs,  e-groups and other social networking media .

Yoga tourism in Mysore  has given rise to a  support service system –   yoga websites and student blogs –  that tells intending visitors  to Mysore   where to rent rooms in Gokulam and other areas ,  what to eat , and where to shop,  get clothes tailored, rent a bike, and places to avoid.  Yoga tourism and those making a living on it do very well without much help (interference) from the tourism dept.

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One Response

  1. Eco-friendly stay

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