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.3000/- 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.

The concept of ‘Home Stays’ and its approval cum classification system was introduced by the Department of Tourism as part of its promotional efforts. The idea was to provide a homely experience to the tourists and experiential tourism. Our culture and culinary tradition get promoted this way. Based on the facilities and quality of the accommodation provided Homestay units are classified into three categories.

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

The application fee for classification /reclassification of Homestay is Rs. 3000 (Rupees Three Thousand only) The Validity for classification of homestay is for a period of three years.

Guidelines for the Classification and Reclassification of Homestay Units

  • Homestay Classification will be issued only in the name of owner of the house.
  • Classification will be done only for operational accommodational Units.
  • Leased or rented houses will not be considered for homestay classification.
  • Maximum rooms that can be given for tourist accommodation will be 6
  • Classification will be given to only those units where the owner along with his/her family is physically residing.
  • Application for classification has to be submitted to the District Officers of Department of Tourism.
  • Application fee of Rs. 3000/- has to be remitted in the receipt head Department of Tourism and submitted along with the application.
  • Inspection Committee will examine the facilities based on Checklist. As per recommendation of the committee, classification will be awarded.
  • The Classification/Reclassification Certified of Units will be issued by the Director, Department of Tourism.
  • The Classification/Reclassification will be valid for a period of three years.
  • The application for change to higher category will be considered only at the time of reclassification.
  • The existing classification will be valid until reclassification, provided application for reclassification is submitted with the required fees three months before the expiry of the existing classification.
  • The facilities provided and services offered will be evaluated against the checklist.
  • The classification units will have to maintain required standards at all times.
  • Director, Department of Tourism or an officer deputed by the Director, Department of Tourism or the concerned Joint Director/Deputy 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 Deputy Director, District Office, Department of Tourism within 30 days.
  • In case of dissatisfaction of the remarks of the Classification/Reclassification Committee, the unit may appeal to Director, Department of 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. Otherwise it will be considered as fresh application.
  • Food has to be prepared and provide to the guests on demand.
  • C Form submission should be done in proper manner and in record.

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

  1. Application fee of Rs. 3000/- (Treasury Challan – Head of Account 1452-00-800-99- tourism other receipts)
  2. Acceptance of regulatory condition in 200/- stamp paper
  3. No object certificate to operate Homestay from Panchayath /Municipality /Corporation
  4. Residence Certificate from Panchayath/Municipality/Corporation
  5. Ownership Certificate of building from Panchayath/Municipality/Corporation
  6. Up to date tax receipt of land
  7. Police clearance certificate from the Local Station House Officer
  8. Registration from the Office of Food Safety Commissioner ; no license needed
  9. Existing plan and elevation of the building.
  10. Photographs of the building (exterior and interior – 2 numbers each)


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

1 Chairman and Convenor Deputy Director, District Office, Department of Tourism
2 Member Secretary, District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC)
3 Member Representative of Food Craft Institute (FCI)
4 Member Manager of Government Guest House
5 Member Representative of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO)
6 Member Representative of the Local Body in which the unit is located

Checklist forClassification/Reclassification

The items included in the checklist are broadly divided into two – Necessary (N) and Desirable (D). It is mandatory for the unit to fulfill all necessary conditions to become eligible for classification/reclassification.

Sl. No Condition Silver Gold Diamond
A General
1 Clean and hygienic premises N N N
2 Building in good condition N N N
3 Power back up D N N
4 Facilities for persons with differential abilities D D N
B General
1 Newspapers available N N N
2 Seating arrangements in the living room N N N
3 Internet connection D N N
4 Washing machine/Laundry service D N N
5 Water Purifier for potable water D D N
6 Surveillance cameras D D N
C Room Facility
1 Good ventilation facility N N N
2 attached/separate toilets equal to the number of lettable rooms N N N
3 Minimum size of bedroom excluding bathroom has to be 120 sq. ft. (For traditional/heritage houses – 100 sq. ft.) N N N
4 Fan/Room heater N N N
5 Clean white colour bed and bath linen N N N
6 Minimum bed width for single is 90 cm. and double 120 cm. N N N
7 Mattress minimum 10 cm. thick – coir, cotton, foam or spring N N N
8 Minimum bedding 2 sheets, 2 pillows & 2 blankets N (in air-conditioned rooms), mattress protector/bedcover N N
9 A 5 AMP earthed power socket N N N
10 A table with drawer that can be used for writing purpose also N N N
11 A folder with writing pad, pencil, brochure/tariff, emergency phone numbers – police, hospital, house N N N
12 Two chairs per room N N N
13 Wardrobe with minimum 4 cloth hangers per bedding N N N
14 Separate waste bin for degradable and non-degradable items N N N
15 Curtains/screening and mosquito net for all windows N N N
16 Drinking water facility N N N
17 A mirror, at least half length (3 feet) N N N
18 Bath Mat and Room Mat N N N
19 Reading lamp D N N
20 Television D N N
21 Air-conditioning D D N
D Bathrooms
1 Minimum size of bathroom 20 sq. ft. N N N
2 One bath towel and one face towel per guest N N N
3 Shower/ tap facility N N N
4 A clothes-hook in each bath/shower room N N N
5 A sanitary bin N N N
6 Western type Water Closet N N N
7 Toilet paper N N N
8 Floors and walls to have non-porous surfaces N N N
9 24 hours hot & cold running water availability N N N
10 Guest toiletries – soap (per guest) – shampoo (common) N N N
11 One bucket with mug N N N
12 Wash basin & face mirror N N N
13 Bottled toiletry products including body shampoo, moisturizer D D N
14 Complimentary tooth paste, tooth brush, shaving kit, comb D D N