Homestays are gradually becoming an integral part of the tourism policy of the Bengal Government. A chain of homestays in Alipurduar district, branded Blue Home Stay, is going to be the latest addition. It would be inaugurated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
This State Government-assisted project is unique in the sense that all these homestays would involve Adivasi families of the district. Tourists would get to experience life as lived by Adivasi families. All the homestays would come up in forested areas, ideal for providing respite to the mind and the body. They would be blue in colour, hence the name.
Twelve homestays are going to be set up in the first phase of the project, in Chilapata, Totopara, Shalkumar Haat and Hatipota. In the second phase, 13 more are to come up in Chilapata, basti 28 and 29, and Madarihat.
The State Government is soon going to come up with a Homestay Policy. The policy would bring in transparency as well as fully exploit the potential of homestays.
Further developments are also in the offing: a tourist information centre in Alipurduar town, the district capital, introduction of more tourist taxis, tourism centres in Nararthali and Bhutanghat, and a tourist hub in Jayanti.
Mamata Banerjee has fulfilled a longstanding demand of the people of the region by creating the district of Alipurduar. Since Tourism has a lot of potential in this district of lush forested hills, wildlife, tea gardens and the unique Adivasis way of life, these steps would boost the fulfilment of that potential.