From first week of November, the state tourism department intends to start a special drive, encouraging citizens in Bhubaneswar to provide homestay facilities to tourists. The tourism department will accord licence to house owners, who register themselves with the former.
Earlier people were applying near the ministry of tourism to start homestay facility, which comes under ‘bed and breakfast’, an initiative launched by the Centre in 2006. Though the state government had in January and March signed agreements with two private companies to promote homestay scheme in Odisha, the move failed to yield positive result. At present, only around 50 houses offer homestay facilities in Odisha. Bulk of the houses is located in Bhubaneswar.
“We will carry out awareness campaigns through advertisements so that people come to know about the homestay facility. From November first week, we will start direct registration of homes at out department. Earlier people were applying to ministry of tourism,” tourism director Nitin Jawale told TOI. “The ministry of tourism asked us to receive applications from people and conduct verification before permitting them to start homestay facility,” Jawale said, adding the move would help augment rooms for tourists in the city and other places.