With increasing tourism activity across the country, India will need 290,000 more rooms for tourists in 2020, and homestays are evolving as the best alternative. To promote the concept of homestay in the state, Andhra Pradesh Tourism has signed an agreement with Rightstay (MakeMyTrip) and Stayzilla.
Under this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Rightstay and Stayzilla will lend its expertise to Andhra Pradesh Tourism to conduct verification procedures and jointly boost homestays and stay experiences within Andhra Pradesh. This MoU will help to promote rural tourism in the state and AP Tourism intends to encourage organised, community-based, environmentally and socially responsible rural homestays across the countryside of Andhra Pradesh.
Stayzilla, an aggregator of verified homestays, which has tie-ups with tourism departments of six north Indian states, made the first deal with the Andhra Pradesh’s Tourism Department in south India now.
AP Tourism Director Himanshu Shukla said, “We also intend to ensure that such experiences are offered in line with the above-stated objective of giving tourists a holistic rural experience keeping the ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ concept in the forefront. In doing so, the service necessarily needs to be participative, and should create a sustainable eco-system which provides an alternate source of income for villagers without straining their existing resources.”
MakeMyTrip Senior Vice President, Growth Business, Deepak Tuli said, “While homestays account for 40 pc of the total properties on the Rightstay, 25 pc of those are private properties in Andhra Pradesh. We already have more than 14,000 properties across 200 cities live on Rightstay and plan to end the next year with over 100,000 properties and are excited to partner with Andhra Pradesh in that endeavour.”
Ankit Rastogi, Vice President Marketplace, Stayzilla said, “We aim to strengthen tourism in the south with the first tie-up with a state government tourism body in the region. Well maintained and quality accommodation is always a concern for tourists and we aim to address the same by associating with different tourism boards in the country.”
AP Tourism, Rightstay and Stayzilla will also jointly conduct educational and training sessions for registered homestays on best practices such as online usage, content management, operations and expense management. Rightstay and Stayzilla teams will also be involved in imparting hospitality and skill training to all the new homestays under the AP Tourism scheme. This partnership will also enable verification and training of these new homestays being developed right from the start.