Andhra Pradesh to promote homestays in rural areas

Andhra Pradesh Tourism department plans to promote the concept of homestays in areas where commercial accommodation providers are less in the Krishna, Guntur and West Godavari districts. This is as part of the state’s second phase of rural tourism development plans. Relevant places from these districts will be selected and included in the tour packages.

The authorities envisage identifying three villages in every district for developing rural tourism. 37 villages with scope of rural tourism in all 13 districts of the State have already been identified and out of them, 17 have been finalized and five clusters were formed. In each cluster, three to four villages will be allocated, where a single tour package would be designed for one such cluster.

Lepakshi, Veerapuram, Nimmalakunta, Adarna, Angallu, Srikalahasti, Madhavamala, Venkatagiri, Dindi, Narsapur and Uppada villages were identified in the first phase. Three clusters in Anantapur, Tirupati and East Godavari districts were formed and they are registering tourist inflow from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Meanwhile, the tourism department has signed an agreement with Mahindra and Infosys to send its employees to explore these rural tourism clusters.

“Response to the first phase of the programme was positive. So we are doing more under this project and in the second phase, Krishna, Guntur, West Godavari districts will be developed. Promoting homestays is an intrinsic part of rural tourism in the state, which will enhance the income of the rural people,” said Himanshu Shukla, ATDC chairperson.

“With this in mind, the department proposes to keep the concept of Atithi Devo Bhava (Guest is God) at the forefront. All in all, the concept will give a different feel to the tourists, who want to experience the authentic village atmosphere,” added Shukla.