Title

Rural tourism development in Nepal: One village’s experience of socioeconomic structural transformation

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2013

Abstract

This research project observes a particular village, Briddim, located on a new trekking route promoting the local culture and heritage, rather than primarily on the mountain scenery. Briddim is one of only a few homestay village, featuring an authentic experience staying in the homes of families, eating only the local food, and participating in everyday activities with the villagers. This model of tourism differs from the teahouse model, which provides standardized hotels accommodating to the desires of the tourist in westernized food selection, warm solar showers, and small private rooms with beds and sheets.

The central research question of this study is: How do the internal tensions and socioeconomic hierarchies already present in the village become exacerbated or altered as a consequence of tourism? It has been suggested that the teahouse hotels are symbols of power, which the homestay model would seem to alleviate, creating a more egalitarian framework of power and an equalized dispersal of economic benefits provided by tourism. Other questions include the following: In the social dynamic of the community, are there tensions between members associated with the homestay project with the minority of those who are not homestays? Is the project benefiting the community in providing new revenue outside of agriculture, and is the revenue equally distributed amongst the villagers regardless of previous economic? Who sets up the criteria in becoming a homestay , and where does the money come from if changes to accompany tourists into their individual and communal lives to take place?

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