In a bid to attract tourists to the villages, Punjab government on Wednesday launched a Farm Tourism Scheme in the state, aiming at providing an interesting and relaxing rural tourism to the visitor and also ensuring them adequate exposure to local community life besides enjoying the pure Punjabi cuisine.
The focus on Farm Tourism will also bring back the people especially the younger generations of non-resident Indian Punjabi families to the basic Punjabi cultural values and ethos.
For detailed information in this regard, interested persons can log on to the official website of Punjab Tourism department www.punjabtourism.gov.in.
A Punjab government spokesperson said that detailed guidelines have already been chalked out to rope in progressive farmers and farmhouse owners across the state of Punjab.
“Under the scheme, a farmhouse owner will play the host and guide to the visitors. Those enrolling under the scheme will have to provide clean, hygienic environment, equipped with modern facilities that meet the standards defined by the Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board,” he said.
The spokesperson said the farmhouse owner will provide home cooked food, comfortable accommodation and tell the visitors about the local agricultural practices like floricultural, harvesting bee-keeping and dairying.
“Besides the farm experience, visitors will also be exposed to local festivals and marriages. The quality of services offered by the farm owners will be verified by the district authority as well as the tourism department. The department will also provide mandatory training and technical know-how to the farm owners,” the spokesperson said, adding that preference will be given to farms which have agricultural land attached and only farmhouses with minimum two rooms will be registered.
Further, the visitors could also participate or witness rural games such as wrestling, kite flying and bullock cart rides or tractor rides. Besides this arrangements such as taking bath at the tube well could be another attraction and a unique feature for both adults and children from urban areas.
The registration of the farm houses under this scheme will be valid for five years initially subject to periodic inspection by a committee constituted by the PHTPB.
“The Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board may cancel the registration in the event of any serious and justified complaint of any nature particularly about standards of service, cleanliness, courtesy, standards of food served etc. The farm houses registered could not be used for any other purpose except tourism,” he added.