The Nepal tourism board budgeted US $ 375,000 to train people for quality home-stay arrangements in rural areas of Nepal. A unique and personal way to experience Nepal and it’s culture, home-stay programs were much in focus during Nepal Tourism Year 2011. The governments plan was to mitigate the shortage of hotel beds through this alternative program. If the tourism year had been as successful as hoped for (if indeed the targeted one million tourists had visited the country) Nepal would have had a daily shortfall of 822 beds. This figure was arrived at by the Nepal Tourism Board taking into account the fact that the total number of Nepali hotels are 669 (all categories) with a total capacity of 26,063 beds.
And so, much importance was given to the development of homestays in various parts of the country including newly developed tourist destinations. In the hospitality sector, homestays are universally considered to be an excellent alternative to hotel accommodation. Such an arrangement provides the opportunity for visitors to live with locals and partake of their hospitality according to the customs of the place.
Homestays in Nepal are mostly located away from major cities, in small villages where the way of life is simple and straightforward—a pleasant change from the everyday hustle and bustle of urban life. Local government and non government agencies like village development committees (VDCs), district development committees (DDCs) and local co-operatives were mobilized by the Nepal Tourism Board to manage home stay facilities. A budget of Rs 30 million (About US $ 375,000) was allocated to train people for quality home-stay arrangements in rural areas.
Nepal homestay guidelines
Although Nepal homestay programs were developed to provide additional accommodations for visitors during Nepal Tourism Year 2011, the prime aim of Nepal homestay programs is to engage more locals’ participation in activities to do with Nepal tourism besides of course, enhancing incomes of Nepalis living in rural areas. Nepal homestays are of two kinds—community homestays and private homestays. Here, it must be pointed out that while most Nepal homestays are in small villages, some urban private homes have also been encouraged to allocate two rooms with two beds each for homestay purposes.
Nepal homestay guidelines state that in a home with at least four rooms, vacant rooms can be used for tourists’ homestay. It is also requested that the concerned family should make all efforts to give a taste of the local Nepali culture and cuisine to visitors thus helping in further enhancing the image of Nepal tourism. Interested homeowners have to register at the Local Homestay Management Committee. It is essential for hygienic and well facilitated rooms and services to be provided. The management committee determines the accommodation package and other charges.
All houses participating in the Nepal homestay program have to ensure cleanliness and a safe and secure environment. There must be adequate toilet and bathroom facilities. These are the basic criteria required for Nepal homestays. Regarding urban area homestays, a participating house can accommodate only four tourists per night so that there is less negative impact on the business of regular Nepali hotels. Nepal homestay guidelines also require visitors to be served whatever food the homeowners themselves eat. Guests too are requested by the Nepal homestay guidelines to adhere to a code of conduct which states that they should dress in an appropriate manner and promote their Nepali hosts’ culture and tradition. Nepal homestay guests are also asked to enter and leave homes only within the prescribed times and, use of drugs and narcotics is totally forbidden.
Sirubari (Syangja District, west Nepal) and Ghalegaon (Lamjung District, north-central Nepal) were the first to implement the concept of homestays which actually was an offshoot of efforts to develop village tourism by the government. Now, there are quite a few registered commercial homestay homes. Kathmandu, too, has more than 10 community-based and two private homestay homes with a combined capacity to accommodate over 300 tourists. Kavrepalanchok has over 26 registered community-based homestay homes. Similarly, Chitwan has at least 10, Makwanpur has 11 Nuwakot has twelve. Gorkha, Ilam, Palpa, Syangja, Kailali and Kalikot too are following close on their heels in registering homestay homes. Living in a Nepali homestay in a village is a quick way to know the real Nepal. And, the planned daily cultural activities at almost all Nepal homestays should certainly be a major attraction for tourists.
Sirubari—Nepal’s First Tourism Model Village
The concept of village tourism was introduced for the first time in Nepal in Sirubari village (1700 m) inhabited mostly by people of the Gurung community. The picturesque village can be reached either by jeep from Syangja bazaar or by bus from Naudanda along the Pokhara-Sunauli Highway (Siddhartha Highway). The more adventurous tourist might prefer to travel from Helu-Lamachaur (about 50 km south of Pokhara) along the same highway. This trip involves a fair bit of trekking along the terraced farm land of Darau-Khola and a two hour climb from Arjun Chaupari. All tourists are accommodated in homestays.
The village consists of 60 households of which many offer guests accommodation that is simple, but comfortable. Meals are eaten with the family and each evening you are entertained by Gurung dances and singing. Sirubari won the PATA Gold Award 2001 in the Heritage & Culture – Heritage Category.
Nepal Village Resorts (NVR) is Sirubari tourism’s marketing agency based in Kathmandu. According to them, the first commercial group taken to Sirubari in October 1997 was a group of 16 Belgian tourists.
Nepal Homestay – Live the Simple Life
The logo of Kapan Homestay Village (KHV) in Kapan, Faika, Kathmandu, is simple: “Live the Simple Life”. It is a Community Project Office and Training Center working in partnership with the Kapan Village Development Committee. KHV aims to enhance development of this substantially populated Nepali village that is only about an hour away from Kathmandu. KHV has improved the management of homestays in the village thus making the idea a great success. Currently, there are 60 homestays in the village. The rule here is that not more than four rooms can be utilized in a house for homestay purposes and the concerned homeowners have to undergo different trainings such as: housekeeping, food and beverage, hygiene and English language so as to give a better impression of Nepal homestays.
Kapan village is located just 10 km from the international airport. It has a clean and green unpolluted environment and the villagers are a mix of various ethnicities (15) and cultures. Guests can stay with Brahmins, Chettris, Newars, Tamangs, Sherpas, Magars, or with many other communities Kapan is also popular as a center for Buddhist learning, it being home to the Foundation for the Preservation of Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) which was founded in 1975 at the Kopan Monastery. Kapan is certainly an ideal destination for tourists coming to Nepal and preferring to have a Nepal homestay experience.
Homestay Guest Rates
Room Type Bathroom Tariff
Double Attached US$25
Single Attached US$20
Double Non-attached US$20
Single Non-attached US$15
Kapan Homestay Village, Kapan 1, Faika, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: +977-1-4821390. Email: [email protected]