The tourism industry in Nepal is at a standstill. The socio-economic impact of this has been drastic and has left no one (from hoteliers to homestay owners) unscathed. For many local communities that were becoming increasingly dependent on tourism prior to COVID-19, tourism prospects seem dismal. Although people from around the world are slowly coming out of lockdown situations and navigating this new normal, there is no denying that tourism will take some more time to revive.
Faced with this challenging situation, Community Homestay Network has developed a project to support local communities develop and sell unique local products that will promote the destinations in which they are made. The project was recently awarded with a Booking Booster grant and has kicked off in full swing.
Through the project, Community Homestay Network plans to engage 10 communities spread across Nepal in its network and help them develop and package their local products for distribution and sale. Many communities already have the technical knowledge and resources to develop products (example homemade pickles or handicrafts). The sale of these products will support communities financially, at a time when their revenue from tourism has been zero. At the same time, it will be an opportunity for marketing those destinations where the products come from. Throughout the process of product development, communities will also get a chance to learn the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the needs of the end-customer.
Community Homestay Network is excited to help communities dependent on tourism diversify their sources of income in such a difficult time. A big thank you goes to Booking.com’s Booking Booster program for giving life to the project and for constantly supporting sustainable tourism businesses.