Kargil / Srinagar, Nov 24: The Administration of Union Teritory of Ladakh recently notified the revised "Ladakh Homestay Policy 2023" to strengthen the rural economy by promoting responsible and sustainable tourism in the Union Territory of Ladakh.
The revised policy is drafted based on feedback and inputs from the stakeholders on the earlier Homestay Policy issued in 2020, the officials said. The policy will be implemented outside the protected areas by the Department of Tourism, Administration of Union Territory of Ladakh, and in the ‘Protected Areas’ (Changthang Wildife Sanctuary, Karakorum Wildife Sanctuary and Hemis National Park) by the Department of Wildlife Protection. The home-stays will be located outside the municipal limits of Leh and Kargil town.
Secretary Tourism Ladakh Mehboob Ali Khan told Greater Kashmir that the revised Ladakh Homestay Policy 2023 is designed to boost tourism in the rural and border areas of Ladakh. It further envisages harnessing the vast untapped rural tourism potential of Ladakh, so that its benefit reaches out directly to the rural communities."The policy represents our commitment to preserving the essence of the Union Territory of Ladakh, while fostering responsible and sustainable tourism practices, adding that to incentivize and support the development of homestays, the Ladakh Homestay Policy 2023 offers a range of benefits for local communities including Economic Empowerment, Environmental Responsibility, Cultural Exchange, Community Development," he said.
Secretary Tourism said that the government is also incentivising homestays and providing financial aid to those who might want to open a homestay of their own. "The five-year policy targets the establishment of 10,000 homestays across the Union Territory, including regions near the borders. Approximately 5,000 homestays will be situated in protected areas like wildlife sanctuaries, parks, and reserves" Khan told Greater Kashmir. As per the notification, The Ladakh Homestay Policy 2023 will remain valid for five years from now. Through this policy the Administration of Union Territory of Ladakh endeavors to empower local communities by providing financial assistance, skill development and marketing support, to develop an ecosystem of traditional Ladakhi homestay experiences across the rural and border areas of Ladakh. Officials in tourism department revealed that the Homestay policy aims to bolster the rural economy, particularly in border areas, by promoting rural tourism. The home-stays will be located outside the municipal limits of Leh and Kargil town.