Incredible India and Destination Dharamshala are two of the most popular travel programs initiated by the Indian Govt. and the Himachal Govt. respectively.
Incredible India has now shifted its focus on the beautiful Kangra Valley in Himachal and at the same time Destination Dharamshala program is also adding new features this year to welcome tourists from across the globe.
Both these programs are already running 176 home-stays for the 2012-13 season this year. Even the Central Govt. has started taking interest in travel activities in Himachal and has allocated an amount of 166 Crores this season.
Most of these home-stays have been constructed in pahadi style. Home-stays in Himachal are very popular among the foreigners. Kangra Valley attracts huge number of tourists from abroad and promoting the home-stay accommodations can help to boost the tourism industry in the state.
According to the government policy, sickness home-stays can have a maximum of three rooms and they do not have to pay the luxury tax, which is not the case with the hoteliers, which makes home-stays far cheaper than hotels or tourist lodges.
Home-stays are a great way to understand Himachali Culture and they are far cheaper than conventional hotels as well. As of now, there are 499 registered home-stays in the state. Most of these home-stays are located outside the city/town premises. Major home-stay locations in the state are Dalhousie, Kullu, Dharamshala, and Manali.
We all know about the Incredible India program, which has brought laurels and tourists to the country in the last couple of years. Destination Dharamshala is one such program that focuses on promoting the religious tourism in the Kangra Valley. The valley is known as the home of the Dalai Lama as well as the famous Hindu ‘shakti-peeths’ like Chamunda, Kangra, and Jawalaji Temple.