The Homestay and BnB Federation of India opposes the narrative created by the tourism stakeholders across Goa which presumably aims to deprecate Homestays and BnB’s. These more modest staying facilities in Goa fall under totally different categories and do not pose a threat to the hotel industry as being portrayed by their associations.
While the Central Government has made the registration completely voluntary, the State Government is proposing to make it mandatory to which the officials of the Homestay Federation are also protesting.
Homestays and Bed and Breakfasts (BnBs) are gaining popularity among the new generation of tourists because many of them come for a long period. These are basically small lodging establishments with an average number of six rooms. They are simpler and cosier than hotels and provide wonderful experiences to their guests. With an increase in demand, these federations are not at fault for moving with the times. Research says that 75% of the operators live in the same premises and the myth about the majority being private villas being rented out, has been laid to rest. It also generates employment for people thereby contributing to the economy of the state.
Commenting on this issue, Francis Coelho, President of Homestay and BnB Federation of India said, “Under the Indian Constitution, any national and international person is allowed to visit India and thereby Goa as tourists. Homestays give a completely different and new experience which the modern tourist demands and deserves. We as homestay officials are trying to support the local people by giving employment in these uncertain times. We request the Chief Minister and the Tourism Minister to not destroy our livelihood in this economic crisis by implementing the proposed guidelines.”
“As the trend goes #VocalForLocal, the government should lend their helping hands for the town people and their business. COVID-19 has led us to lose jobs and we need to sustain ourselves. Many people of Goa, are highly dependent on the income they earn from hosting guests in the homestays and BnB properties. Despite the fact that homestays fall under category “D” and do not require any pollution control certificate, we are being forced to avail it.”- says Joseph Sodder, Member of Homestay and BnB Federation.
Goa attracts many tourists from all parts of the world including India. Many people view Goas as a home away from home because of its sandy beaches and calm vibe. The locals are a great part of the tourism Goa receives, for their hospitality and also for their friendliness towards tourists. Homestays and BnBs are perfect for people who are looking to enjoy their vacation in Goa and experience the local culture. Taking away the prized value of tourism in Goa can gravely affect the economy and that will simply be adverse.