By Amar Raj Naharki
Tanahun, Mar. 26: The Bandipur Rural Municipality of Tanahun has brought a communal homestay into operation to boost tourism and local livelihoods.
With the risk posed by the coronavirus declining and tourist activity all over the country increasing, the rural municipality has opened the homestay in Ramkot, Bandipur-3 to give visitors a place to stay and support the local economy.
Karuna Gurung, vice-chairperson of the municipality, said that many domestic and foreign tourists had been coming to Ramkot in recent days to enjoy the beautiful scenery and soak in the Magar culture. “That is why we have opened this homestay under our rural tourism promotion programme to advertise the tourism destinations of Bandipur as well as the surrounding areas,” she said.
Bihisara Ale, chairperson of Bandipur’s homestay steering committee, also agreed with Gurung and informed that the homestays in Ramkot were fully occupied. She also shared that Rs. 2 million obtained from the Gandaki provincial government had been used to manage the roads in Ramkot.
Ramkot is a quintessential Magar settlement whose customs, language and traditions can be promoted to lure tourists to the region. In this context, the homestay project appears appropriate for the area, as per the rural municipality.
After the opening of the homestay, Purna Singh Thapa, chairman of Bandipur, said that the local government had begun constructing various tourism-related infrastructure to bring travellers coming to Bandipur to Ramkot as well.
“For this, Rs. 7 million has been allocated from the Chief Minister Organic Model Village programme and Rs. 1.5 million from the Provincial Government Homestay Promotion programme,” he informed. “Homestays will help make the residents self-employed too.”
The people of Ramkot were given a three-month training to adequately involve them in the communal homestay, the rural municipality informed.
Ramkot is a village around three kilometres from Bandipur, known as the queen of the hills.