Homestays as Livelihood Strategies in Rural Economies: The case of Johar Valley, Uttarakhand, India
Macek, Ian Christian
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Munsiyari and Sarmoli, gateway villages to the Johar Valley, are the last points with motor vehicle access. This affords the villages a level of connectedness that the other villages in the valley are not provided. Consequently, Munsiyari and Sarmoli are home to multiple shops, tourist accommodations, and restaurants and boast the largest population in the Valley. One type of tourist accommodation found in Sarmoli is the homestay. It differs from typical accommodations by offering the traveler a unique experience that combines ones basic needs (food, shelter) with the host's culture. The homestay model in Sarmoli has empowered the local community and sparked my curiosity to determine if a homestay model could be a suitable livelihood strategy used throughout the Johar Valley. During field work I found that a few guesthouses currently exist, but a homestay program has not been developed. This thesis created an evaluation matrix that can be used to determine the suitability of developing a homestay program. The matrix is then applied to a subset of villages in the Johar Valley. The tool developed through this thesis can help make decisions about the suitability of homestays not only in the Johar Valley, but also in other remote locations in India.
- Urban planning