Hari Lal Paudel has been selected as a chairman of Homestay Association of Nepal (HOSAN) Gandaki Province in Pokhara on July 26. We have presented a short chitchat with Paudel about his future plans as a chairman of HOSAN Gandaki. Excerpt:
What kind of programs and plans would be carried out during your tenure?
It has not been long of my selection as a chairman however monthly mobile meetings in different homestay villages, drafting of their profile, identification of entrepreneurs’ problems, exploration of potential homestay destinations cooperating with media and respective institutions and the training support to entrepreneurs are some of my future plans.
In your experience, what are the major problems of homestays in Gandaki Province?
There are many but very beautiful and potential villages also are in shadow due to the lacking of publicity. Many villages are running homestays but owners have got not any proper training like sanitation, cooking, baking and hospitality. Likewise, easy access, quality service, hygiene maintain and organic foods are also the issues for both the owners and guests.
Some claim that homestays couldn’t servive without the gang of beautiful young ladies in the village; what is your opinion?
I don’t like to say this way but without youths in the village, homestay service is like a lame duck. The trend of leaving village by youths for many reasons is also hampering the homestay businesses that are being run by mostly the elderly people in most of the villages. For example, Kabre of Kaski is the first registered official homestay village of Nepal, but it is struggling for its existence now.
The province government has allocated Rs 300 million to develop homestays in 300 villages of 11 districts of this province; what is your take on this?
It is not a bad idea but we are due to consult with local villagers and the government officials regarding that issue. We are ready to cooperate with both the sides for the exploration, development and promotion of homestay tourism whether it is in villages or city area.
The province government has also issued a Homestay Running Procedure; do you like to comment on it?
I don’t know it is a draft version or came into effect but whatever the issue, the procedure should be simple and easy for villagers. Most of the homestay owners are farmers and middle class people; so, the procedure should not be complicated in implementation. I have heard that homestay owners or community should go through the long process to renew their homestay in Toruism Office Pokhara. Poor villagers are unable to pay thousands of rupees to renew their homestay. Such issue hampers in the sustainability of homestay which is also an alternative tourism.