New App For Homestays in Darjeeling, Kalimpong

App to have details of hotels, homestays and service providers to help tourists plan their journey better. The app will also help in creating a digital record of tourism offerings in the region.

By Sam
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Kanchenjunga View

Mt Kanchenjunga as seen from Darjeeling

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To promote tourism and make it easier for visitors to plan their journeys, a new mobile app has been launched for homestay owners, cab operators and other stakeholders in Darjeeling and Kalimpong.

The app has been launched by the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) to ensure that hundreds of homestay owners and other local stakeholders of the tourism industry in Darjeeling and Kalimpong hills get adequate business.

Kalimpong Hotel
Hotels like this in Kalimpong can register on the app

Purpose of the App

According to Dawa Gyalpo Sherpa, the chief coordinator of adventure tourism in the GTA, the objective of the new mobile app is to see that hundreds of homestay owners, cab operators and tourist guides earn regularly by providing services to tourists in the hills.

Homestay owners and other service providers can can get themselves registered in the newly launched app named “darjeelingkalimpongtourismapp.” The app is available on Google Playstore.

“The stakeholders can register themselves through the app (available in Google Playstore) free of cost. It will help them find tourists who intend to stay at homestays or avail transport service or the service of a guide,” said Sherpa.

Jalapiguri to Darjeeling Train
The popular Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling train

According to Mr Sherpa, in the past few years, hundreds of homestay facilities have come up across Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts. Such accommodations were promoted to provide an alternative earning opportunity to people in remote locations of the hills.

“But what we have noticed is that a section of homestay owners after eventually handing over their facilities to outsiders on lease with a contract of a meagre amount. They are doing it because of an assured income but it is affecting the basic concept of homestay tourism,” he added.

Digital Records

The app will also help GTA maintain a record of the homestay facilities and the local homestay owners can get tourists through it and get decent earnings instead of providing the property to somebody else on lease.

“Once a homestay owner registers through the app, he can directly contact tourists and have steady business round the year without involving any middleman or agencies,” Sherpa said.

Kalimpong Tea Estate
Tea estates can also register on the app and attract tourists

The app allows owners to upload details of their properties with photographs, location and description on how to reach the place, mode of transport, nearest airport and railway station and local attractions. “We will put QR codes in railway stations, airports, and other transit points so that tourists can scan the code and install the app to find a homestay, a cab or a guide,” a GTA official added.

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