"A cluster of three villages in Biosphere Reserve area namely Niti, Laata and Gamsali have been identified where homestay facilities will be created to attract tourists. It will raise the income of locals and give a boost to tourism in the state," Chief Secretary Subhash Kumar said, addressing the state committee of Nandadevi Biosphere Reserve in Dehradun.
    
While holidaying in the wild, tourists often look for an abode which is located amid natural surroundings but at the same time gives them a feeling of home away from home, he said, adding that the facility of homestay in these villages will fulfill this requirement of visitors besides adding to the income of villagers.
    
Five homes in each of these villages will be developed in the first phase to create the facility of homestay for visitors which may later be expanded to more homes and more villages.
    
He also advocated farming of black cumin seeds on a larger scale in a cluster of 34 villages of the reserve area to increase the income of locals.
    
The mid-June calamity in Uttarakhand dealt a blow to tourism and efforts are currently underway to attract more and more visitors to its idyllic environs.

(Agencies)

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