Tingvong Homestay: The First Homestay in Dzongu
Dupden Lepcha started Tingvong Homestay, the first homestay in the remote Dzongu region of Sikkim, India, when the region was opened for tourism in 2006. Initially, the response to Dupden's homestay was good, improving Dupden's financial position and earning him the respect of the community. With Dupden's active encouragement and help, other members of the community also established homestays. Over time, however, a few of these homestays outperformed Tingvong Homestay by creating greater awareness of their offering. Despite the government's intention to develop the region as an ecotourism hub, the pace has been slow, compelling the village council to take proactive steps. They have asked Dupden to play an active role in working closely with government officials, and now Dupden must decide whether to focus on his homestay or take up the role offered by the council and work toward the development of the Dzongu region as an ecotourism hub. Agnitra Das Sarma is affiliated with Institute of Management Technology Ghaziabad. Rakesh Gupta is affiliated with Institute of Management Technology Ghaziabad.