Rural tourist entrepreneurs require help in making sense of Covid-19 protocols in order to reopen their home stays, guesthouses and hotels, an organisation that aims to help rural economies has said.
“The rural communities that survived on tourism are in a critical position,” Project Facilitator of NotOnMap, Evarist Myrsing, told Highland Post today.
“Various government and organisational guidelines have also been introduced but these guidelines are varied and difficult for rural communities to comprehend and implement. Moreover, they are not contextual to the rural setting. Thus they are lagging in their understanding of the new normal in post-Covid times, which will further sabotage the revival of their businesses,” Myrsing added.
NotOnMap is a social-driven initiative generating alternative livelihoods and minimising unskilled migration from traditional villages, Myrsing explained.
“NOM creates bridges between travellers looking for an authentic cultural exploration and those villagers who can provide similar experiences,” he said.
NOM works with 14 home stays and six villages in three districts of Meghalaya. Covid-19 has affected all of them and he is hopeful that things return to normal soon.
NotOnMap creates self-help groups and then gets involved in capacity building, training and development of villagers and uses local resources for development across various layers, like livelihood generation, educational guidelines, workshop and awareness campaigns for women, generating employment, restoring old traditional houses and ensuring the environment is well preserved.
Supplies are sourced locally, from food, local artifacts to handicrafts, which are developed by the local community. Most of the food served to tourists is 100 per cent organic, Myrsing claimed.