With many sacred sites and monasteries in Dagana, an increasing number of people have been exploring the district in recent years. This boom in domestic tourism has come as a blessing to the district’s lone certified homestay. Besides the hotels in Dagana town, people tend to choose to stay in the homestay. The homestay has been receiving a good number of guests and aspires to cater better services to the needs of the local tourists pouring into the district.
55-year-old Karma runs the homestay with his wife. They can be seen preparing meals as a group of guests concludes their pilgrimage.
The guests have been staying in Karma Homestay for three days.
It has been around two years since Karma converted his house into a homestay. He aspires to provide the best for his guests.
Although Karma only receives local tourists, he expresses how turning his house into a homestay has been favourable for him.
“It is really beneficial for people like us. We just need to take care of the hygiene. We need good toilets and water supply. There will be inconveniences if there isn’t good toilet or water with more number of guests. With a reliable water supply here, the income is good and it is profitable.”
Karma says that they did not have any proper concept of homestays until an official from the Department of Tourism visited the village and encouraged him to start the homestay business.
According to the guests, it has become convenient as they can stay at the homestay. Had it not been for the homestay, they said they would have to pitch a tent which is inconvenient.
“We are thankful to our host Karma for coming up with this homestay and taking us in. It offers great hospitality. We were offered tea as soon as we got off the bus. Then he took us to visit the Daga Dzong and also visited Dho dung-chay. We were again offered tea after we got back and had our dinner. Moreover, there are different rooms for males and females. It is very convenient for us,” said Changlo Tshering, a visitor.
“With no place to stay when people from far-flung areas come for pilgrimage, we have to pitch a tent and stay. Hence, when people come with an initiative like this along with the support from the government, it is beneficial for people like us,” said Passang Wangmo, another visitor.
As Karma bids farewell to his first batch of guests for the season, he shares his plans for the future.
“Hereafter, I hope to upgrade the small toilet and also come up with a hot stone bath facility. I plan to make the services better for the guests with the start of the hot stone bath service when they arrive here after a tiring journey along with a welcome tea and dinner and a visit to the holy sites the next day.”
Karma also underwent a week-long Homestay Management training in Wangdue Phodrang organised by the Royal Society for Protection of Nature or RSPN in August this year.
Now, with only a few days before the Daga Tshechu starts, Karma has already received reservations from two groups for this month.