Honourable Lieutenant Governor of J&K, Shri Manoj Sinha inaugurates 75 OYO homestays

Honourable Lieutenant Governor of J&K, Shri Manoj Sinha inaugurates 75 OYO homestays

As part of the ongoing Azadi Ka Amrtit Mahotsav, to celebrate and commemorate the 75th year of independence, Shri Manoj Sinha, Honourable Lieutenant Governor of J&K inaugurated 75 of our new homestays in Jammu and Kashmir. The inauguration ceremony took place at the Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre in the presence of other dignitaries including Mrs Mandeep Kaur, IAS, Commissioner  & Secretary, Panchayati Raj and Rural Development, Government of J&K; Shri Sarmad Hafeez IAS, Secretary, Tourism and Culture, Government of J&K; Mrs Indu Kanwal Chib, KAS, Mission Director, J&K State Rural Livelihood Mission and Ankit Gupta, CEO, OYO India. 

The inauguration is a part of the ongoing Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav – an initiative of the Government of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of independence and the glorious history of its people, culture and achievements.


The government under the guidance of the Hon’ble L-G Shri Manoj Sinha has recently announced the procedure for registering homestays in Jammu and Kashmir in order to make it easier for more people to earn livelihood from the tourism industry. 


These homestays have been created under the ‘Umeed ‘scheme of Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihood Mission. It aims to reduce poverty in the state by building strong grassroots institutions for the poor, engage them into gainful livelihood interventions and ensure appreciable improvement in their income on a sustainable basis. 


Identified on the parameters of scenic beauty, landscape, cultural diversity and heritage, these homestays are located at at Udhampur, Poonch, Doda, Kathua and Kishtwar districts of Jammu and Anantnag, Baramulla, Bandipora and Srinagar districts of Kashmir valley. Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihood Mission recently organised a workshop for homestay owners in Srinagar on August 1 and 2, 2022. A similar workshop is going to be held in Jammu on August 16 and 17, 2022 for homestay owners. 


An encouraging feature of these homestays is that most of these are managed by women from the Self Help Groups (SHGs) in the less mainstream areas of the state. The affordable tariffs offered by the OYO homestays will cater to experiential and immersive travellers. These come with all basic room amenities, great views, and an opportunity for travellers to experience Kashmiri life in its truest form. Most of these home-stay, kitchens and dining spaces will also serve Kashmiri food, including traditional bread – Khambir, local fruits and Kahwa.


We have partnered with Jammu and Kashmir Rural Livelihood Mission (JKRLM) to offer end-to-end solutions that transcends beyond just listing of homestays on its platform. It includes identification of the homes, their audit, transformation and civil work, transfer of technology, training of homestay owners, branding & marketing etc. There are plans to create 200 new homestays in Jammu and Kashmir by December 2022. 


Shri Manoj Sinha, Honourable Lieutenant Governor of Jammu & Kashmir,  said “OYO and Jammu & Kashmir Rural Livelihood Mission are empowering women in Jammu and Kashmir with their homestay initiative. I would like to congratulate all our sisters associated with this project. An estimated 1 crore tourists have visited Jammu and Kashmir so far this year. Government is working towards improving the connectivity of the valley to the rest of India to further boost tourism which is the backbone of the economy in this region. More flights are operating from Srinagar today than ever before which signals the revival of tourism in the state”. 


Commenting on the developments, Ritesh Agarwal, Founder, OYO, said “We are honoured to be a part of the “Crown of Incredible India” project which was inaugurated by the Honourable LG in February of this year. These homestays are a testimony to the vision of our Honourable Prime Minister and the Honourable LG to widen and deepen the prospects for tourism in the country, provide sustainable livelihood to the rural community and also empower women. We also acknowledge the commitment and dedication of Jammu & Kashmir Rural Livelihood Mission, our valuable partner for the homestays project. OYO is committed to play a meaningful role in strengthening the tourism potential  in J&K with an innovative and collaborative approach. 


These homestays will create self reliant businesses in the state. The people of J&K are known for their hospitality and the homestays are therefore a natural fit for them.  We are also organising workshops to help them get better in various hospitality disciplines such as behavioural skills, use of technology, destination promotion and sales and marketing”. 


According to our Travelopedia travel trend report, in 2022, 61% of Indians would prefer to go local and explore domestic destinations surrounded by nature which is reassuring to boost rural tourism in India.