Dist admin moves to curb illegal homestays in Kodagu

Dist admin moves to curb illegal homestays in Kodagu

A bird's eye view of Madikeri town.

The district administration has initiated action against thousands of illegal homestays in Kodagu that have failed to register with the state tourism department.

An official from the tourism department said that 4,600 applications were submitted online for registration. Out of these, 207 homestays have been approved after the scrutiny of documents. The other applications are being looked into. The names of the approved homestays have now been published on the website of the Kodagu tourism department.

“Once the scrutiny of the pending applications is complete, the deputy commissioner will give approval for the rest of the homestays,” said sources. 

Tourism department official Raghavendra said that actions were initiated against illegal homestays last year. However, the process was stalled due to the natural calamities that hit Kodagu.

The officials are of the opinion that many of the homestays are not eligible to obtain No Objection Certificates (NoCs) from the respective gram panchayats and the Police Department. If the homestay is legal, a fee of Rs 500 needs to be paid to the tourism department for registration.

A person on the condition of anonymity stated that many of the homestay owners do not want to reveal their ‘real businesses’ at these homestays. The homestays were mooted with an idea of introducing Kodava culture and heritage to the tourists, through hospitality. However, the main purpose has not been served in many homestays.

It can be recalled that the panchayat development officer of Makkanduru Gram Panchayat had recently issued an order to the homestays not to book rooms for the tourists for three months during monsoon. However, following opposition by the owners of homestays, the order was withdrawn.

Now, the tourism department has taken a step forward by revealing the names of the approved homestays in the district.

Rules

As per the norms, only those families which possess houses of their own should foray into the homestay business.

Apart from the rooms in which the family members live, there should be three more rooms in the house. No Objection Certificates must be invariably obtained from the tourism department, Police Department and the local gram panchayat. 

The tourists staying in the homestays should compulsorily provide the copy of their identity card and should enter their name, address, contact number and the time of check-in and check-out in the log book without fail.

The owners of the homestays should alert the police in case of suspicious persons checking in at their homestay. Homestays cannot be run on a rented house.

DC posts link of Tourism Dept

Deputy Commissioner of Kodagu, Annies Kanmani Joy, has put up a link on her Facebook page and has called upon the tourists to check the names of the homestays on the tourism department website, before they check-in. The website link is: https://kodagu.nic.in/en/tourism/accommodation/

The website page contains a list of 207 approved homestays. The list of approved hotels and travel agencies have also been put up on the website, along with the contact numbers.

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