SHILLONG, July 18: Tourism in Meghalaya is a blooming industry which can generate revenue and employment for the people of the State, particularly in the rural areas.
Seeing the potential growth of this sector and the need to promote women entrepreneurship in the region, the Meghalaya State Commission for Women (MSCW) on Wednesday organized a training programme on ‘Home Stay Tourism’ at North Eastern Council (NEC) Secretariat, Shillong. Women entrepreneurs from across the State took part at the training.
In her brief introductory address, MSCW chairperson Theilin Phanbuh stated that “Home Stay Tourism” is a National Commission for Women (NCW) and Airbnb initiative to promote women entrepreneurship in the region.
Phanbuh also said that taking into account post-research by the Commission on the socio-economic conditions of women in the region, particularly in the rural areas, and how to encourage entrepreneurship amongst women, the Commission felt that tourism and hospitality sector is one such area that could empower women.
There are 130 home-stays located in different parts of the State.
Gautam Chintey, adviser (Banking, Industries & Tourism)/ in-charge Director (Evaluation & Monitoring) NEC, said that the special interest shown by the Women’s Commission to empower women through Home Stays along with the support of Airbnb, women of the region would go a long way in securing a place in the socio-economic front. Chintey assured the entrepreneurs of help from the NEC.
Meanwhile, NCW senior coordinator (North East Circle) Lilabati M said that the Commission had conducted a study on the socio-economic-political empowerment of women in the region.
“We’ve come up with a very comprehensive report with various recommendations on the economic and socio-political empowerment of women in the Northeast,” NCW senior coordinator (North East Circle) said.
In November 2017, there was a review meeting at NEC on how to take forward the recommendations of the report.
Similarly in April this year another meeting was held at Sikkim where various issues were deliberated upon. The meet also discussed measures to be taken up for empowering women in North East India, keeping in view the potential of tourism in the region.
According to her, women of the Northeast are known for their “hospitality” and therefore the NCW aims to take forward the concept.
“We have decided to carry forward the policies, and train women in micro entrepreneurship programmes, especially in the field of hospitality and tourism,” she added.
Meanwhile, the senior coordinator also asserted that the NCW had entered into an understanding with Airbnb, a known company in the field of tourism and hospitality.
It may be mentioned that Airbnb is a company which operates an online market-place and hospitality service for people to lease or rent short-term lodging including holiday cottages, apartments, home-stays, hostel beds or hotel rooms, to participate in or facilitate experiences related to tourism.