Athithi – Karnataka Home Stay Scheme

Ajjana Mane, Talavata, Sagar Taluk, Shimoga district 2013-14

Source: Karnataka Tourism Policy 2009-14

Document covers Karnataka tourism policy, its strategic objectives and home stay policy and procedures.

Karnataka Tourism Policy:

The current National Tourism Policy by the Government of India has recognized the power of “Brand Positioning” and “Source Marketing” as part of the “Incredible India” strategy. The Karnataka Tourism Policy is significantly aligned with it to ensure international, national and regional focus in attracting foreign and domestic tourists in large numbers, for extended stay and higher share of their wallet.

The Unique Selling Proposition of Karnataka Tourism is that it is a “Mini Incredible India” in its tourism offerings. One state encompassing the spectrum of many worlds of tourist interest under one roof – be it the heritage and pilgrim centres of the old world, or the Hi-tech IT and Bio-tech of the modern world.

At one end it is recognized as the “Cradle of stone architecture” of the old civilization and contrastingly on the other, as the “Silicon Valley of India” of the modern e-civilization. While foreign tourists may be charmed by the culture and heritage of Karnataka and enjoy adventure tourism, it is the hill-stations, pilgrim centres and wildlife sanctuaries which hold the interest of domestic tourist.


Exponentially enhance and tap the tourism potential of Karnataka; coordinate to deliver a leisure experience that is engaging and gives value for money to the tourists. This is to be ensured in an effective, efficient and outcome-based manner.


Make tourism Karnataka’s principal and largest economic activity, as an employer, revenue-generator and engine of growth, by being among the top two tourism destinations in India by 2016-17.


The values of “Punniya Koti” enshrined in Karnataka’s culture will form the hallmark to ensure hospitality services to foreign and domestic tourists i.e., “Promises Made and Kept”.

Strategic Objectives

  1. Create an enabling condition to make Karnataka India’s leading tourism destination with focus on the customer (tourist), brand strategy and positioning and source marketing.
  2. Focus on the tourist through segmented customer approach.
  3. Create a culture of tourism in Karnataka with active involvement of all the relevant stakeholders.
  4. Disperse growth across the state to spread the economic and community benefits of tourism.
  5. Tap effectively the full potential of employment, revenue-generation and growth prospects of tourism in Karnataka.


The Karnataka State has major tourist sports of the country and yearly 5.50 international tourists and more than 275 lakh Indian tourists visit these places. The number of tourists visiting these places is continuously increasing, due to which existing hotels and lodging facilities are not sufficient for accommodation. Increase in number of tourists is expected in future and demand for more hotel building for stay of tourist has increased,but there is acute shortage of the same.

Many posh residential buildings, bungalows, heritage homes, farm houses and vacant houses are available in the state and many families are coming forward to give them for tourist stay. Tourism department has already registered some home stay units and has given information in this regard to the tourists through its website. There is ample scope for environmental tourism in kodagu, Chickmagalur and Shimoga districts. In this background, the Department of Tourism has proposed to enforce “ Atithi” home stay Project . Under this project it is proposed to frame the outlines of home stay projects on the lines of bread and breakfast pattern home stay projects formulated by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India (HR Division) inclusive of the aspects such as the facilities offered by such buildings and facilities to be acquired and the maintenance facilities of such units etc, treating these home stay units as non-commercial units.

Home Stay Policy of Government of Karnataka

As a result of sustained promotional activity of the Department, Eco-tourism in Western Ghat districts like Kodagu, Chikmaglur and Shimoga are coming forward to use their houses as tourist stay. Thus, in order to meet the supply and demand gap of hotel rooms and to maintain serene atmosphere in the Western Ghats, the Department firmly believes in encouraging home stay facilities. This is the scheme for promoting Athithi Karnataka Home Stay facility.

1. ATHITHI – Karnataka Home Stay Scheme

Karnataka has large numbers of well constructed houses in which there are unused rooms for converting into tourist accommodation with minimal improvements including estate bungalows, heritage homes, farm houses and vacant houses. Already many families are coming forward to share their homes with tourists as home stays and there are some excellent home stays offered to the tourists in the State. Department of Tourism, Government of Karnataka has already enrolled some home stays in the State and published in the Department Website. But the guidelines for the approval were not clearly defined to make the program a success.

Department of Tourism now intends to bring out a new scheme for Home Stays called ‘Athithi’. Home Stays will be minimally regulated and will be treated as non-commercial activity. Home Stays will be classified by bringing out clear guidelines on the required facilities, procedures for classification, benefits to operators, benefits to the community and the tourists etc. and to encourage the locals for participating in the scheme to increase the room capacity in the state with minimal investment.


  • To increase the room capacity to accommodate tourists without compromising the quality of facilities, service and traditions through home stays by introducing classification system for the home stay units.
  • To help the tourists to have a first hand experience of the rich culture and heritage of the State of Karnataka.
  • To encourage the locals in earning some additional income other than his/her regular income and sustained employment by optimally utilizing the infrastructure they have already developed.
  • To allow penetrating the benefit of tourism directly to the local population and empowering the common man in promotion of tourism in the state by minimizing it’s negative impacts.


1500 classified home stay units with approximately 5000 rooms in the next 3 years.


  • Creation of 5000 quality rooms for tourist accommodation with minimal investment.
  • Effective way of cultural exchange and promotion of the traditions and heritage to the tourists.
  • Dispersal of the tourism activity into the rural areas and penetration of the benefit of tourism directly to the common man.
  • Sustained direct employment to about 7500 persons.
  • Investment of about Rs.75 Crores from the local people in tourism.

Benefits to the Home-Stay operators

  • Earning a additional income other than his/her regular income and sustained employment.
  • Use of Karnataka Tourism Brand for marketing.
  • Support from the Government in Capacity building.
  • Facilitation by Government in getting loans from the financial institutions for the improvement of the existing houses for it’s conversion into home-stay.


  • Individuals or families who own a house of good quality in the state and can spare at least 2 rooms for tourist accommodation.
  • The classification will be given only in those cases where the owner / promoter of the unit along with his/her family is physically residing in the same unit.
  • A Police Clearance certificate from Local Station House Officer shall to be submitted along with the application.
  • Maximum number of rooms for offering to the tourists shall be limited to 5.
  • At least one of the family members should be able to communicate in English.
  • The houses in areas of tourism importance will get priority.


Selection of the home-stays from among the applicants will be done by a committee appointed by Government for the purpose, based on the following criteria

  • Location of the house
  • Quality of house and surrounding areas in terms of facilities & hygiene for offering to tourists.
  • Access
  • Educational and professional background of the applicant and family members.
  • Tourist attraction of the area.
The committee for classification of Home stays units constituted by Government for the purpose will visit the unit and if found satisfactory with the facilities recommend to Department of Tourism for the classification of the unit. The order on classification will be issued by Department of Tourism, Government of Karnataka.

Checklist for approval & registration of home stay Establishment

Note: The grading in the various categories will depend on the quality of accommodation, facilities and services provided.

General Standard Premium
  • Well maintained and well equipped house and guest rooms with quality carpets / area rugs /tiles or marble flooring, furniture, fittings, etc. in keeping with the traditional lifestyle.
  • Sufficient Parking and Guest Rooms.
  • Minimum one lettable room and maximum 5 rooms (10 beds)
  • All rooms should be clean, airy, pest free, without dampness and with outside window/ventilation.
  • Minimum floor area in sq. ft. for each room 200
  • Comfortable bed with good quality linen & bedding, preferably of Indian design.
  • Attached Private Bathrooms with every room along with toiletries.
  • Minimum size of each bathroom in square feet 30-40
  • Western WC toilet to have a seat and lid, toilet paper.
  • 24 hours running hot & cold water with proper sewage connection
  • Water saving taps / shower
  • Well maintained smoke free, clean, hygienic, odour free, pest free kitchen
  • Dining area serving fresh Continental and / or traditional
  • Indian breakfast
  • Good quality cutlery and crockery
  • Air conditioning/heating depending on climatic conditions with room temp. between 20 to 25 degrees C
  • Iron with iron board on request
  • A 15 amp earthed power socket in the guest room
  • Internet Connection
  • Telephone with extension facility in the room
  • Wardrobe with at least 4 clothes hangers in the guest room
  • Shelves or drawer space in the guest rooms
  • Complimentary aqua guard/RO/mineral water
  • Good quality chairs, working table and other necessary furniture
  • Washing Machines/dryers in the house with arrangements for laundry /dry cleaning services
  • A lounge or seating arrangement in the lobby area
  • Heating and cooling to be provided in enclosed public rooms
  • Garbage disposal facilities as per Municipal laws
  • Acceptance of cash/cheque/DD
  • Name, address and telephone number of doctors
  • Assistance with luggage on request
  • Safekeeping facilities in the room
  • Smoke/heat detectors in the house
  • Security guard facilities
  • Maintenance of register for guest check-in and check records