Changing tourism model in Ladakh

I t is fairly known that the Ladkh region is full of tourism potential and of varied hues and following its becoming a Union Territory, Ladakh has been witnessing a thrust on promoting tourism in a planned way. Recently, by launching home stay incentive items for the beneficiaries of Leh district under the New Home Stay policy by the Department of Tourism by the Lieutenant Governor, a new step has been taken to accord a changed and an improved look to Ladakh tourism. It is imperative, looking to the geographical nature, that an element of a geographical spread of tourism should be achieved rather than concentrating on a few places and spots only. Decentralisation of tourism activities , carbon neutral characteristic of Ladakh and improving standard of rural population can well be achieved by popularising the concept of home stays. It may be noted that the term home stay in terms of tourism just means that a tourist lives with a local family during its stay and thus is a way to accommodate a tourist with a local family where besides enjoying sightseeing and other forms of tourism, a tourist learns a lot about local customs, cuisine, culture, art, heritage etc and thus an exchange of cultural knowledge takes place. It is imperative that such home stay providing entrepreneurs get all types of help in maintaining the levels of cleanliness, staying comforts for the tourists including power and water availability as also elementary medical facilities. Hence incentives and rewards must be provided to the local entrepreneurs for their role in conservation of the environment and the culture by popularising home staying.