Authors: Kalpana Bhakuni and Ashvini Kumar

First Author Affiliation: Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi. Second Author Affiliation: PhD Scholar at the Department of Geography, University of Delhi.


Abstract: The Himalayan region has remote areas with abundance of scenic beauty and cultural heritage. Lately, mass tourism has caused irreparable damage to the natural systems of the hill states of the Himalayas. As an alternative to mass tourism the concept of homestay, as the ‘soft tourism’ with low start-up cost and low visitor impact, has been promoted. Homestay offers affordable and inexpensive lodging for tourists in the existing traditional houses, sometimes renovated for the visitors to make a comfortable stay. Homestay as a means of community-based ecotourism, is adopted as an effective measure of providing livelihoods to the locals. It is about managing all the resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs of people can be fulfilled, while maintaining the cultural integrity, ecological processes, bio-diversity and nature support systems through homestay, as a social entrepreneurship. In this work, homestay is envisaged as a driver to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by steering the pathways to a sustainable future for all concerned in the selected hill states. They address
the challenges the hill communities face today, including those related to poverty, hunger, gender inequality, climate change, environmental degradation etc.

Keywords: Homestay, Community-based ecotourism, Sustainable Development Goals, Soft tourism, Himalayan region.


<< Published in Akademos 2020 Issue