J&K govt, Oyo launch rural home stay

Jammu: With an aim to facilitate and increase footfall of tourists in the Union Territory, the Jammu and Kashmir government and Oyo Group on Thursday launched rural home stay under the project of “Crown of Incredible India”, here at the Raj Bhawan. The project was launched by the Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha along with top officials of Oyo Group aiming to help operationalise up to 200 home stays in Udhampur, Srinagar, Jammu, Anantnag, Doda and other under penetrated districts in the next year. The Raj Bhawan Spokesman said that J&K Government and world’s leading travel tech platform, OYO Group, launched rural home stay under project “Crown of Incredible India” to encourage micro-entrepreneurs in the villages. “It will revitalize local art and crafts and redevelopment of rural areas,” he said, adding: “Undoubtedly, nature has blessed J&K with great scenic beauty and rural home stays will offer a piece of eternal culture, cuisine, traditions and warm and friendly hospitality of J&K UT to domestic and International travelers.” By Dec this year, around 200 home stays will be available on OYO platform,” he said. Speaking on the occasion, LG Sinha said, “J&K Govt under Mission Youth will support 500 youth for establishing home stay and Rs. 50,000 financial assistance per home stay will be provided for refurbishment.” “The venture will help in building a tourist infrastructure of world standards in rural J&K,” Sinha said, added that this new initiative will empower local communities, youth and women, fulfilling the vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. “Through vocal for local products, individuals and enterprises will help in poverty alleviation and sustainable development,” said The Lieutenant Governor. The initiative has been taken with an aim to uplift the lives of local communities and to turn the youths of Jammu and Kashmir into startup entrepreneurs, OYO has partnered with the Government of Jammu & Kashmir to launch a state-wide initiative – ‘Crown of Incredible India’. Ritesh Agarwal, Founder and Group CEO, OYO, said, “We, at OYO, are thrilled to be a part of the unique tourism opportunities in Jammu and Kashmir, and are excited to welcome travellers visiting the state for unique stay experience at these home-stays. We are proud to extend our partnership with the Jammu and Kashmir Government to generate economic and employment opportunities in the districts.” “The ‘Crown of Incredible India’ will enable socio-economic development helping people become ‘Atmanirbhar’. As the country celebrates ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, 75 glorious years of progressive India, we at OYO renew our commitment to strengthen tourism for the benefit of local communities and aim to work together with these entrepreneurs to promote sustainable, responsible travel and homestays that contribute to resilient local economies and support jobs,” he added. Under this collaborative approach, OYO will also partner with the government’s ‘Mission Youth’ programme to open home stays across 75 villages to promote entrepreneurship and create self-employment opportunities. The Mission Youth initiative of the J&K Government provides a platform to local youth under multiple schemes. It offers financial assistance, last-mile infrastructure and accessibility to promote sustainable livelihood. The company will expand its network across 75 villages under ‘Mission Youth’. OYO will assist in the training of existing and potential homeowners on responsible hosting, hospitality standards, hygiene and basic amenities, the Oyo Media Relation Officer said. Sinha further said, “Rural homestays in MP, Gujarat, Karnataka, Maharashtra have started to rival conventional tourism. Having the most beautiful locales in the country, J&K is determined to catch up. This partnership marks the start of a new chapter. OYO has made a great start to onboard J&K’s rural homestays on their platform.” He further added, “Under PM’s guidance, J&K is today the 6th largest tourist destination in India in terms of tourist influx. It has created both jobs and revenue. In Aug-Nov 2021, the state witnessed 52 lakh tourists, which is growing by the day.”