Kannur homestay entrepreneur shows way ahead for Kerala tourism- The New Indian Express

Express newspaper service

KOCHI: People in the tourism industry complain about the drop in foreign tourists to the state. However, one homestay owner from Kannur seems to be gaining a lot of attention from foreign tourists through innovative packages based on responsible tourism. EK Harris, owner of Harris Beach Home in Kannur, is also fully booked for the next two months. He has devised various creative packages to give tourists to his site a real village experience. The latest package he launched is called the Village Food Experience package.

“It involved bringing groups of tourists right into the locals’ kitchens and letting them experience the signature cooking style of the place,” said Harris, who is basically a textile shop owner but came to the homestay business project quite by chance, said. “It is not possible to experience the real Kerala in the cities. And what tourists to our state want is a real Kerala experience,” Harris added that once you give them an original taste of Kerala culture, cuisine and traditions, they will continue. back next to bringing more people.

“Recently, I had a group of tourists from Spain. I want to give them a traditional sadya experience. So I took them to the Kudumbasree members’ homes in our village. There, tourists joined the women in gathering the ingredients needed for sadya, preparing the dishes and finally helping them cook,” he said.

According to him, this not only benefits tourists getting a real Kerala experience on a reasonable budget, but also benefits locals who make some money. “After Sadya, for example, Spanish tourists paid the women around Rs 14,000 to provide them with a hearty lunch and an experience,” says Harris. This is part of responsible tourism, he added. “Bring money not only to the homestay but also to the locals,” he said.

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In another incident, Harris explained how a group of tourists from Germany gave a group of students from a nearby school Rs 17,000 after they performed Oppana for them. “There was a couple in the group who were celebrating their wedding anniversary. So I told them I had a surprise for them. I invited students from a nearby school who won first place in Oppana to come and perform for them. According to travelers, it’s a surreal experience,” Harris added that this financial year will be very good in terms of tourist arrivals to my homestay.

Harris’ foray into the homestay business also has a story behind it. “I am basically a textile shop owner. It all started when a British tourist came to my shop to buy a dress. I helped her choose her outfit and also told her about the local beach in addition to inviting her to have a cup of tea at my house. It’s amazing that she came,” Harris said.

“At my house, tourists get to see how fried bananas are made. She was so impressed that she brought four companions to me. They were impressed and returned home to bring more people next year. This is the beginning and my business is still going strong thanks to the packages that I put out each season,” he added.

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