Maharashtra and Airbnb join hands to start homestays at Elephanta Island
The villagers will be trained by Airbnb to provide quality home service to rent-seeking touristsmumbai Updated: Jun 09, 2018 01:07 IST
The Maharashtra government on Friday announced a collaboration with Airbnb, the American community-driven hospitality company, to start homestay facilities at Elephanta Island, located 10-km off Mumbai’s coast and home to 6th-century cave temples listed by Unesco as a World Heritage Site.
The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) along with Airbnb has identified several places around Shetbunder village on the island where as potential homestay locations. The villagers will be trained by Airbnb to provide quality home service to rent-seeking tourists.
Maharashtra’s tourism minister Jaykumar Rawal said, “We have decided to take our partnership with Airbnb ahead by working on more projects. Elephanta Caves is the latest one where MTDC along with Airbnb will launch homestay facilities at 35 places in the coming days.”
However, the project may take a few more months to start because the island itself received permanent supply of electric power only in February this year and most houses are undergoing renovation. Furthermore, boat services to Elephanta Island will be suspended due to the monsoon.
MTDC and Airbnb have also jointly launched a training programme that aims to drive economic growth within local communities by helping micro-entrepreneurs in the hospitality sector grow their business.
“We are also aiming to create a homestay ecosystem at Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri and Palghar by creating at least one hospitality micro-entrepreneur in each village. Our target is to create and nurture 1,500 such tourism and hospitality entrepreneurs in the next one year,” said VK Gautam, principal secretary, tourism department.
Meanwhile, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) has granted five-star certification to the MTDC-run scuba diving centre situated at Tarkarli, Sindhudurg district. Scuba diving centres of some 180 countries are accredited with PADI.
First Published: Jun 09, 2018 01:07 IST