The Growth of Homestays in Asia

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A rapidly increasing number of home-owners are welcoming visitors from across Asia–and abroad–into their homes and their lifestyle; for brief as well extended home-stays. Encouraged by the government, people are putting to good use their extra bedrooms by letting them out to discerning travellers willing to imbibe a culturally different way of life. A complete departure from the facility-rich albeit impersonal environs of a hotel, home-stays are indeed answering the home-away-from-home call.

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The Mirage, Andretta

Typical home-stays require visitors to check into another’s house and life for the length of their stay, in exchange for respect for their timings, and pocket-friendly tariffs that may or may not include meals. Most of which are home-cooked and usually eaten with the host-family, who will be happy to accommodate dietary restraints if they have prior knowledge. A large number of travellers are happily lapping up this concept as it allows them a chance to experience local flavours through warm and hospitable families.

Home-stay properties dotting the length and breadth of the country include centuries’ old heritage homes, cottages in alpine solitude, colonial-era planters’ bungalows, restored royal mansions, modest yet clean village houses, well-appointed floors in modern homes; the list is endless. However, it is not so much the property that makes your stay worthwhile; in the end, it is the host family that extends the quality of experience.

Puneet Sidhu
Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu, travel enthusiast and the author of Adrift: A junket junkie in Europe is the youngest of four siblings born into an aristocratic family of Punjab. Dogged in her resistance to conform, and with parental pressure easing sufficiently over the years, she had plenty of freedom of choice. And she chose travel.

She was born in Shimla, and spent her formative years at their home, Windsor Terrace, in Kasumpti while schooling at Convent of Jesus & Mary, Chelsea. The irrepressible wanderlust in her found her changing vocations midstream and she joined Singapore International Airlines to give wing to her passion. She has travelled extensively in Asia, North America, Australia, Europe, South Africa and SE Asia; simultaneously exploring the charms within India.

When she is not travelling, she is writing about it. Over the past decade or so, she has created an impressive writing repertoire for herself: as a columnist with Hindustan Times, as a book reviewer for The Tribune and as a contributor to travel magazines in India and overseas. Her work-in-progress, the documenting of colonial heritage along the Old Hindustan-Tibet Road, is an outcome of her long-standing romance with the Himalayas.
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One Response to The Growth of Homestays in Asia

  1. Sivesh Chauhan June 30, 2013 at 12:35 am #

    I had my good luck to stay at some #homestays in #uttrakhand. The one i liked the most was in #pauri -” #pitsan”. I still relish the hospitality that was rendered to us by that family. I always encourage everybody to opt for more & more of Homestay option. It not only give locals a means of revenue generation but it also gives you a chance to get the feel of place like locals. However i would also like to advocate need of proper training for people who all are offering homestay facilities. As per them they provide the best services to travelers but at times due to lack of proper knowledge and training travelers face basic problems. A really good topic for blog Puneet.

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