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3-Day ‘Home-stay Business Workshop’ held

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STATE TIMES NEWS

JAMMU: A three day Awareness Workshop on Homestay Capacity Building of interested Homestay Proprietors and individual homestay owners was on Friday inaugurated here in TRC Jammu.
The workshop organised by Directorate of Tourism Jammu is being conducted under the overall supervision of Secretary to the Government, Tourism Department J&K Syed Abid Rasheed Shah.
The three day workshop was inaugurated by Director Tourism Jammu, Vivekanand Rai IRS along with Sanjeev Jain, Vice Chancellor Central University of Jammu. The three days extensive Capacity Building Workshop was attended by about 80 interested Homestay stakeholders from District Doda, Ramban, Kishtwar, Jammu, Rajouri and Reasi. The Homestay Business Workshop shall set the stage for the growth of rural tourism in Jammu region, intending to empower local entrepreneurs to offer unique and authentic experiences to travelers while fostering economic development in the region.
In the welcome address, Vivekanand Rai emphasized the potential of homestays and rural tourism in Jammu region. He highlighted the financial empowerment of women through Homestay Businesses, drawing a correlation with the ancient principle of “Atithi Devo Bhava,” which signifies the importance of treating guests as God. He highlighted the role of tourism in fostering cultural exchange and building bridges between communities in the modern-day context.
Dr. Sanjeev Jain, Vice-Chancellor, Central University of Jammu, delivered the keynote speech, focusing on the integration of technology in tourism and the pivotal role of young entrepreneurs in driving the tourism industry in Jammu & Kashmir.
The Joint Director Tourism Jammu, Sunaina Sharma said that the Homestay Business Workshop aims at empowering entrepreneurs from different parts of Jammu to enhance their skills and knowledge in running successful homestay businesses. She elaborated that the workshop shall enrich the interested Homestay Proprietors in properly channelizing all marketing strategies and the required formal skills for functional operation of Homestays and thereby enriching the local stakeholders with better opportunities for livelihood and promotion of rural tourism in all tourist areas of Jammu Division especially offbeat tourist destinations.
The workshop, hosted at the JKTDC Conference Hall, will take place from June 2nd to June 4th, 2023. Other dignitaries present at the inauguration ceremony included Sh. Manish Ahluwalia Director of LEAD, CA Sat Sharma Board Member & Secretary LEAD, CA Rajeev Gupta Board Member & Secretary LEAD, Dr. Anil Gupta Associate Professor Jammu University and professional team from MakeMyTrip who conducted various training sessions to equip the participants with the essential tools for establishing and operating homestay businesses effectively. Among others, the inaugural ceremony was also attended by Dr. Umesh Shan, Deputy Director Tourism Jammu, Abdul Jabbar Deputy Director Tourism (Publicity) Jammu, Ambika Bali, Assistant Director Tourism Katra and other officials of the Tourism Department.
Homestays offer enriching and immersive experiences to travelers. Each homestay brings alive the local culture and heritage of the destination through a plethora of immersive and authentic experiences such as regional cuisine specialties, local cultural cum folk indulgences.
Prof. Anil Gupta from the Department of Tourism, Jammu University, discussed the potential of rural tourism in the region, emphasizing the need for capacity building among youth to promote tourism effectively.
Experts from the team of MakeMyTrip conducted sessions on various aspects of homestay training, covering topics such as landscaping, social media promotion, and essential communication skills. The sessions aimed to equip participants with the necessary knowledge and skills to enhance the overall guest experience and effectively market their homestays. It was highlighted that homestays are witnessing a surge in popularity in the post-COVID era, with a growing trend of domestic tourism and an increasing interest in exploring new destinations and experiencing authentic local stays.

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