Empowering Homestay Managers

Empowering Homestay Managers

Community-based Tourism plays a significant role in White-bellied Heron (WbH) conservation by raising awareness among visitors. This increased awareness can lead to a greater sense of responsibility for protecting the WbH and their habitats. In essence, homestays can serve as effective platforms to instill conservation values in visitors, foster sustainable practices, and contribute to the overall protection of the environment.

Moving forward, the Homestay Management Training held from 21st-27th August, 2023, in Gangtey-Phobjikha was a resounding success, bringing together the community people with a shared interest in enhancing their hospitality and promoting community-based tourism. The training was aimed to equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to effectively run and manage homestay accommodations – this will help them provide better hospitality services to tourists, maintain high standards of cleanliness and hygiene, handle guest interactions, meal preparation of diverse cuisines, food safety, and address various challenges that may arise. Overall, the training aimed to empower the community to contribute to White-bellied Heron conservation through homestay initiatives and responsible tourism practices.

Participants expressed enthusiasm about the training and its relevance to their roles as potential hosts. Many found the insights into guest psychology, communication techniques, and local attraction promotion particularly enlightening. The hands-on approach and real-life examples provided during the training were well-received.

RSPN with co-financial support from Department of Tourism, Bhutan, a week-long training was attended by 66 community people of WbH landscape areas that include the six Dzongkhags of Dagana, Punakha, Tsirang, Trongsa, Zhemgang, and Wangduephodrang.

It is funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), Germany through International Climate Initiative (IKI) with co-funding from MAVA Foundation, Switzerland and the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN).

Homestay Management Training held from 21st-27th August 2023 in Gangtey-Phobjikha