Home Stays

A family business

Home stay is one of the many innovative practices of kerala that has attracted attention and acceptence of both policy makers and the tourists at largr scale. The genises of home stay in Kerala can be traced back to the bed and breakfasts(B&B’s),Inns and Monasteries.The B&B concept has existed in one form or another since the begining of civilization.The home stays in Kerala are a more comprehensive concept that provides a supplementory accomodation experience to tourists in a homely environment.

Accommodation is one of the major segments offering employment opportunities to millions of people.Unlike hotel/resorts home stays offer accommodation facility in a homely environmnet. Home stays provide unique opportunity for all kinds of travellers to gain first-hand experience of a place, its culture,traditions and people.Homestays are meant to offer comfortable accommodation in an informal atmosphere with family interaction while promoting localised tour.Today,both budjet and premium travellers wish to find the best homestays that are according to their intrest and expectations.

Homestays Classification Scheme.

Homestay is a family business carried out by the owner of the house providing accommodation alone or food and accommodation facility to tourists visiting Kerala. A resident of Kerala staying in own house and is willing to set apart minimum one room (two beds) and maximum six rooms (twelve beds) for accommodating tourists can submit an application to the Director, Department of Tourism for starting a homestay.

Homestay is an accommodation system and an economic activity in the tourism industry. It is popular among the tourists who want to interact with local culture, lifestyle, social system and people. As the name indicates, homestays are a stay in a ‘home’ with a family where the tourists will get opportunity to mingle with the people, their culture, lifestyle, ideas etc. Homestay refers to accommodation provided in a private home run like a small business by the homeowner. Homestays play an integral part of promoting our culture and nature to the external world. This accommodation ensures economic, social and cultural development in a sustainable way. The main component of homestay is the cultural diversity of the local people which can attract the visitors. Homestay accommodation is helpful for tourism development in a country or an area. Homestay can meet the accommodation problem for various types of tourism like rural tourism, ecotourism and cultural tourism. Homestay accommodation provides opportunity to the local community members for active participation in tourism activities.

Procedure for starting homestays.

Classification of homestay is mandatory and those who intend to start homestay business, has to submit the application form to the concerned District officer of Department of Tourism along with an inspection fee of Rs.2000/- by a Demand Draft drawn in favour of Director, Department of Tourism

The Classification of homestay units from among the applicants will be done by a Committee appointed by the Government for the purpose, after examining the facilities provided and environment in which homestay is located

Procedure for starting homestays.

Classification of homestay is mandatory and those who intend to start homestay business, has to submit the application form to the concerned District officer of Department of Tourism along with an inspection fee of Rs.2000/- by a Demand Draft drawn in favour of Director, Department of Tourism

The Classification of homestay units from among the applicants will be done by a Committee appointed by the Government for the purpose, after examining the facilities provided and environment in which homestay is located

Classification criteria.

Based on the facilities and quality of the accommodation provided and commitment to the environment, society and culture, Homestay units will be classified into three categories by using clear guidelines on the requirements.

  1. Diamond House
  2. Gold House
  3. Sliver House

Homestay units fulfilling all the essential conditions prescribed by the Department of Tourism and meeting the required criteria in the Checklist of Facilities, belonging to the Class A category will be given Diamond House status, Class B category will be awarded Gold House status and Class C category will be accorded Silver House status.

The Committee for classification/reclassification of Homestay units constituted by the Government for the purpose will visit the unit and if found satisfactory with the facilities, recommend the Department of Tourism for the classification/reclassification of the unit. The order of classification will be issued by the Director, Department of Tourism, Govt. of Kerala.

Reclassification of homestays

The validity for classification of homestays is only for a period of three years. Application for reclassification has to be submitted three months prior to the expiry of classification. The existing classification will be valid till reclassification, provided  the  application  for reclassification is submitted before the expiry of the existing classification

Documents to be attached with the application of classification/reclassification.

They are:

  1. Acceptance of regulatory condition in 200/- stamp paper
  2. Residence cum Ownership Certificate from Local Self Government
  3. Location and Possession Certificate from Village Office
  4. Location plan showing access to the building from the major roads (need not be scaled)
  5. Plan and elevation of the building.
  6. Photographs of the building (two exterior and two interior)
  7. Police clearance certificate from the Local Station House Officer in the prescribed format
  8. Mandatory registration from the Office of Food Safety Commissioner for 3 years; no license needed
  9. Tariff details
  10. Application fee of Rs. 2000/- (Treasury Challan – Head of Account 1452-00-800-99- tourism other receipts)


The committee for the classification of homestays is constituted district-wise with the following members:

1 Chairperson & Convener Regional Joint Director/Deputy Director, District Office, Department of Tourism
2 Member Member Secretary, District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC)
3 Member Representative of Food Craft Institute (FCI)
4 Member Manager of Government Guest House/ Representative of Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) not below the rank of Unit Officer
5 Member Representative of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO)
6 Member Representative of Registered Homestay and Tourism Society (District wise)
7 Member Representative of the Local Body in which the unit is located

Guidelines for the Classification and Reclassification of Homestay Units

    • Classification will be done only for operational accommodation units.
    • Families who own a house of good quality in the state and can spare at least 1 room and up to maximum 6 rooms for tourist accommodation.
    • Classification will be given to only those units where the owner along with his/her family is physically residing.
    • At least one of the family members should be able to communicate in English.
    • An inspection fee of Rs 2000/- has to be remitted along with the applications for conducting the inspection.
    • Inspection Committee will examine the facilities within two months of the receipt of the application.
    • Based on the criteria developed, the Committee will assign marks for the facilities offered in the homestay identified for classification.
    • Units that receive less than 50 marks will not be eligible for classification.
    • Based on the marks awarded by the Inspection Committee, the qualified units will be classified as Diamond House, Gold House and Silver House. The applicants have to remit the classification fees to the Department of Tourism for obtaining certificate in addition to the inspection charges already remitted.
    • The Classification/Reclassification Certificate for operators will be issued by Director, Department of Tourism.
    • The Classification/Reclassification will be valid for a period of three years.
    • The application for change to higher classes will be considered only at the time of re-classification.
    • The existing classification will be valid until reclassification, provided application for reclassification is submitted with the required fees before the expiry of the existing classification.
    • The facilities provided and services offered will be evaluated against the checklist and score sheet by the committee.
    • The classification units are expected to maintain required standards at all times.
    • Director, Department of Tourism or an officer deputed by the Director, has the right to inspect homestays at any time without prior notice.
    • Serious deficiency, if any, will be reported to Department of Tourism and the Department is free to take action including the cancellation of classification.
    • Any change in the facility/service of the unit shall be reported to the Joint Director/ Deputy Director, District Office, Department of Tourism within 30 days.
    • The classified units shall have to submit Form-C with passport details.
    • If the Department of Tourism is satisfied with the ownership certificates from the Local Self Governments, sketch and photographs of the unit, police verification certificate, and checklists duly signed, the application will be considered for Classification by Department of Tourism.
    • In case of dissatisfaction of the remarks of the Classification/Reclassification Committee, the unit may appeal to Secretary (Tourism), Government of Kerala within 30 days of receiving the communication regarding classification/ re-classification.
    • Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala reserves the right to modify the guidelines/ terms and conditions from time to time.
    • It is mandatory for the homestays to display Classification Certificate properly visible to the guests
    • Application for reclassification should be submitted three months before the expiry date along with the prescribed fees for each category.

  • The proposed Classification/Reclassification fees is as follows:

Classification/Reclassification Fee

Sl.No Category Classification Fee Rs. Reclassification Fee Rs.
1 Diamond House 5500/- 4000/-
2 Gold House 4000/- 3000/-
3 Silver House 2500/- 2000/-
4 Not qualified Nil Nil/-

Checklist for Classification/Reclassification

A total number of 90 items are identified as checklist which has to be fulfilled by the applicant for getting classification/Reclassification Certificate. The checklist is designed in such a way that the promoter could himself/herself examine the various items and ensure whether his/her property is eligible for classification/reclassification and the status which the property could acquire. All the 90 items are put under five categories – General, Guest Rooms, Bathrooms, Public Area and Kitchen. The items included in the checklist are broadly divided into two – Necessary (N) and Desirable (D). It is mandatory for the promoter to fulfil all necessary items to become eligible for classification/reclassification. All the necessary items carry one mark each. Marks acquired through ‘Desirable’ items will enable the promoter to acquire higher classification like Gold House and Diamond House. Out of the ‘Desirable items’, ten are given two points each which give more weightage to commitment towards society, culture and environment.


Sl.No Item Silver Gold Diamond Marks
1 Address Proof (Ration card & Election ID card/Aadhaar Card / Passport) of applicant N N N 1
2 Ability to communicate in foreign language other than English by any one member of the family residing in the house. D D D 1
3 Proximity to tourism destination(3km radius) D D D 1
4 Clean and hygienic premises of Homestay N N N 1
5 Bedrooms, bathrooms and public areas serviced daily while there are tourists N N N 1
6 Building in good condition (Paint, roof, lock & key etc.) N N N 1
7 Surveillance cameras for safety and security D D D 1
8 Occupancy Register and Bills (Annexure 4 & 5) N N N 1
9 Proof of training attended on Food Safety/ Entrepreneurship/ Travel & Tourism/ Hospitality Management D D D 1
10 Facilities for persons with differential abilities D D D 2
11 Code of conduct for visitors N N N 1
12 Local employment (100%) D D D 1
13 Women employment (50%) D D D 1
14 Sourcing local goods D D D 1
15 Sourcing of local services D D D 1
16 Promotion of local art and culture D D D 1
17 Promotion of local souvenirs D D D 1
18 Cultivation of minimum 10 numbers of fruits/vegetable within the compound D D D 2
19 Type of building- Heritage/ Traditional architecture D D D 1
20 Use of alternative sources of energy D D D 2
21 Use of five star rating electrical equipment D D D 2
22 Facility for rain water harvesting N N N 1
23 Pipe compost N N N 1
24 Segregation of wastes D D D 1
25 Ban on plastic bags, covers, bottles D D D 1
26 Encouraging use of alternatives to plastic D D D 1
27 Realistic promotional materials D D D 2
28 Power back up N N N 1

Guest Rooms:

Sl.No Item Silver Gold Diamond Marks
29 All rooms to have good ventilation and attached/separate toilets N N N 1
30 Minimum size of bedroom excluding bathroom has to be 120 sq. ft. (For traditional/heritage houses – 100 sq. ft.) N N N 1
31 Air-conditioning D D D 1
32 Fan/Room heater N N N 1
33 Provision of clean white colour bed and bath linen at the time of check-in. Change of the same on subsequent days on request of the guest. N N N 1
34 Minimum bed width for single is 90 cm. and double 120 cm. N N N 1
35 Mattress minimum 10 cm. thick – coir, cotton, foam or spring N N N 1
36 Minimum bedding 2 sheets, 2 pillows & 2 blankets (in air-conditioned rooms), mattress protector/bedcover N N N 1
37 Sufficient lighting, 1 per bed N N N 1
38 Flexible wall lamp above headrest D D D 1
39 A 5 AMP earthed power socket N N N 1
40 A table with drawer that can be used for writing purpose also N N N 1
41 A folder with writing pad, pencil, brochure/tariff, emergency phone numbers – police, hospital, house N N N 1
42 Television and One Malayalam/English Newspaper D D D 1
43 Two chairs per room N N N 1
44 Wardrobe with minimum 4 cloth hangers per bedding N N N 1
45 Shelves/luggage rack D D D 1
46 Separate waste bin for degradable and non-degradable items N N N 1
47 Opaque curtains or screening and mosquito net for all windows N N N 1
48 Drinking water + 1 glass tumbler per guest N N N 1
49 A mirror, at least half length (3 feet) N N N 1
50 A ‘do not disturb’ knob card D D D 1
51 Bath Mat and Room Mat N N N 1


Sl.No Item Silver Gold Diamond Marks
52 Minimum size of bathroom 20 sq. ft. N N N 1
53 One bath towel and one face towel per guest N N N 1
54 Shower/ tap facility N N N 1
55 A clothes-hook in each bath/shower room N N N 1
56 A sanitary bin N N N 1
57 Western type Water Closet N N N 1
58 Toilet paper N N N 1
59 Floors and walls to have non-porous surfaces N N N 1
60 Water saving fittings in bathroom and 24 hours hot & cold running water availability N N N 1
61 Energy saving lighting (CFL/LED) in guest rooms D D D 1
62 Energy saving lighting (CFL/LED) in premises D D D 1
63 Bottled toiletry products including body shampoo, moisturizer D D D 1
64 Complimentary tooth paste, tooth brush, shaving kit, comb D D D 1
65 Guest toiletries – soap (per guest) – shampoo (common) N N N 1
66 One bucket with mug N N N 1
67 Wash basin & face mirror N N N 1

Public Areas:

Sl.No Item Silver Gold Diamond Marks
68 Telephone facility N N N 1
69 Internet connection D D D 2
70 Feedback Register D D D 2
71 Complaint Register including action taken N N N 1
72 Dining room with quality furniture N N N 1
73 Non-plastic crockery & glassware N N N 1
74 Non-plastic cutlery N N N 1
75 Wash basin with liquid soap D D D 1
76 Water Purifier for potable water D D D 1
77 Washing machine/facility for laundry services D D D 1
78 Security guard D D D 1
79 Luggage/seating arrangements in the lobby area D D D 1


Sl.No Item Silver Gold Diamond Marks
80 Use of organic products D D D 2
81 Refrigerator N N N 1
82 Daily cleaning of kitchen N N N 1
83 Stainless steel made Cooking Range/Stove N N N 1
84 All quality equipments & utensils N N N 1
85 Ventilation system N N N 1
86 Purified drinking water D D D 1
87 Garbage to be segregated – wet and dry and disposed/ treated D D D 2
88 Waste bucket with lid N N N 1
89 Kitchen Sink N N N 1
90 Biogas plant D D D 2

Explanatory Note for Check list of Facilities

  1. The applicant should submit Ration Card and Election Identity Card or Aadhaar Card or Passport as evidence before the Committee as Address proof.
  2. At least one member of the family residing in the house should be able to communicate in any one foreign language other than English.
  3. Destination is the area that provides any natural/cultural/man-made attractions/pilgrim centres that attract domestic/foreign tourist.
  4. The exterior portion of the house should be clean and presentable.
  5. Ensure servicing of bedrooms, bathrooms and public areas on a daily basis.
  6. Proper maintenance of rooms, roof, floor, lock, key etc.
  7. Place surveillance cameras with recording facility for identifying trespassers /miscreants.
  8. Proper maintenance of occupancy register and bills related to business operations.
  9. Certificate in training issued by Government Departments/Organisations.
  10. Facilities provided for persons with differential abilities in the building and premises including toilets.
  11. Display a chart showing Dos and Don’ts in the homestay premises and destinations.
  12. Employing personal from the Local Self-Government (LSG) area/district.
  13. Women employment from the LSG area/district.
  14. Vegetables, Milk, Meat, Egg etc. for preparing food are sourced from local households.
  15. Local services like conveyance, guiding etc. are sourced from the LSG area.
  16. Supporting art and cultural performance in the homestay by local groups/individuals or enabling tourist to experience the same in the locality.
  17. Promoting local souvenirs by displaying/selling the same in the homestay and giving details of the local producer.
  18. This is for promoting homestead farming and enriching the experience of tourists.
  19. Heritage building with Kerala Architectural Style or modern building exemplifying Kerala architecture.
  20. Use of solar panels, wind mills, bio-gas plants etc.
  21. Installation of five star rated equipments on available electrical items.
  22. Rainwater harvesting facility in operation at the homestay.
  23. Pipe Compost facility in operation at the premises.
  24. Separate labelled waste bins for biodegradable and non-biodegradable items and proper systems for disposing non- bio-degradable waste.
  25. Boards displaying ban of plastic bags, covers and bottles to be placed in the rooms, open areas as well as in the promotional materials of the homestay.
  26. Stocking of cloth/paper bags and other alternatives to plastic and making available to guests on request.
  27. Promotional materials should carry authentic and realistic information giving due respect to culture.
  28. Installation of equipments for power back up in case of electricity failure.
  29. Minimum of one window to be provided in each room to ensure proper ventilation. Attached bathroom is mandatory. However, in traditional/heritage houses with more than 50 years old, where attached bathrooms cannot be newly constructed, the operator can maintain a separate toilet for each room exclusively for the use of the guests.
  30. Minimum size of bedroom for traditional/heritage houses with Kerala architecture and more than 50 years old is fixed as 100 sq.ft. This is for promoting use of heritage houses for homestays.
  31. Air Conditioning with remote control facility.
  32. Proper maintenance of fan with regulators in working condition including cleaning the leaves to make it dust free. In hill stations where the climate is cold, instead of fan room heater can be provided.
  33. Provide clean white coloured bed and bath linen at the time of check-in. Change of the same on subsequent days will be done as per the request of the guest. To facilitate this, door hangers are to be provided requesting for change of linen.
  34. Bed in good condition of specified size.
  35. Mattress in good condition as per the specification.
  36. Cotton sheets and pillow covers in white. Blankets, Mattress Protector/ Bed covers should be of quality materials and in good condition.
  37. Sufficient lighting, one per bed.
  38. Flexible wall lamp above head rest.
  39. A 5 AMP earthed power socket.
  40. Table and drawer in good condition with lock and key. The table can be used for writing purpose also.
  41. A folder as per the specification to be kept on the table.
  42. Provide Television with remote in good condition along with any one English and Malayalam newspapers.
  43. Two similar chairs in good condition.
  44. Clean wardrobe in good condition.
  45. Shelves/Luggage Rack with lock and key and in good condition.
  46. Separate waste bin for bio- degradable and non-degradable items in the room.
  47. The materials should be clean and tidy and mosquito net to be provided for windows and ventilators.
  48. Potable drinking water along with clean glass tumbler in good condition.
  49. Mirror in clean and good condition.
  50. Door Knob Cards of non-plastic material.
  51. Clean Bath mat and Room mat in good condition.
  52. Clean bathroom as per specification.
  53. Clean and hygienic bath towel and face towel.
  54. Shower/Tap in good condition and leak-proof.
  55. Clothes hook in good condition.
  56. Sanitary bin in good condition.
  57. Western type water closet including flush tank and health facet in good condition.
  58. Sufficient quantity properly placed.
  59. Floors and walls – Nonporous surface, good condition.
  60. Bathroom Fittings in good condition ensuring 24 hours hot and cold running water.
  61. CFL/ LED lights in Guest rooms and toilets.
  62. CFL/ LED lights in all outdoor lighting in the premises.
  63. Non-plastic materials to be used for bottling the products.
  64. Proper placement of complimentary items as specified.
  65. New Soap and Shampoo properly placed.
  66. Clean bucket and mug in good condition.
  67. Wash basin and Face Mirror in good condition.
  68. Access to Telephone facility.
  69. Provision of internet connectivity.
  70. Maintenance of proper Feedback register.
  71. Complaint Register stating actions taken on each item separately.
  72. Dining room with furniture in good condition.
  73. Non Plastic crockery and glass ware in dining rooms.
  74. Non Plastic cutlery to be provided to guests.
  75. Washbasin in good condition.
  76. Convenient placement of water purifier for the guests.
  77. Washing Machine in good condition placed suitably ensuring supply of running water.
  78. Service minded Security Guard.
  79. Proper luggage/seating arrangements in the lobby area.
  80. Documentary evidence to prove organic products.
  81. Refrigerator in good condition.
  82. Clean and tidy kitchen.
  83. Cooking stove as per specification in good condition.
  84. Branded/Certified equipments.
  85. Exhaust Fan/Chimney.
  86. Water Purifier in the kitchen.
  87. Segregation of garbage and mechanisms for proper disposal.
  88. Waste bucket with lid in good condition.
  89. Kitchen Sink made of Stainless Steel.
  90. Biogas Plant in working condition. If biogas plant is successfully operational, there is no need for separate pipe compost and the homestay unit is eligible for getting 3 points.

Explanatory Note for Type of Meal Plan

  • American Plan includes rate of room and all meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner).
  • A Modified American Plan includes rate of room and two meals (breakfast and either lunch or dinner)
  • The Continental Plan offers a light “continental” breakfast which includes usually fruit, bread or baked goods, coffee, tea, juice etc. and no cooked food along with the room tariff.
  • The European Plan includes only room tariff and does not cover any meals.