Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Jeffrey Hallo

Committee Member

Dr. Lauren Duffy

Committee Member

Dr. Aby Sene-Harper

Committee Member

Dr. Brijesh Thapa


Homestays are accommodation facilities provided by hosts in their own residence. Usually, guests are provided food and lodging by the host family members. These tourism facilities are a source of alternative income in rural areas of countries like Nepal. But now, COVID-19 has adversely affected homestays along with other tourism sectors, so it is necessary to assess homestays in Nepal in the COVID-19 era. For this dissertation, online interviews were conducted with homestay stakeholders (54 homestay operators, 12 homestay leaders, 11 homestay experts, and 8 biodiversity experts). These online interviews were recorded in the Nepali language and were translated and transcribed. The interview transcripts were coded, and a thematic analysis was carried out. The findings were presented in coding frequency tables with supporting quotes. Two different waves of the COVID-19 virus, one starting in March 2020 and the other starting in April 2021, have adversely affected Nepal's various sectors. Different stages of lockdown (both partial and complete) affected the travel of people from one place to the other. Only the emergency movement of people was allowed, stopping all other unnecessary travel during the lockdown. Once the lockdown was lifted, Nepali guests started traveling to homestays. Homestay stakeholders have seen the great potential of domestic tourism during COVID-19 and were hopeful for reviving their business with the help of domestic guests. Due to international travel restrictions, there were no international guests during the COVID-19 era. It is necessary to change these travel policies to attract international guests inside the country. To increase the flow of domestic guests, 2-days weekends and official governmental homestay visits are essential. There were promotional offers suggested inside the country to attract more Nepali guests. Due to the lesser number of guests in homestays during COVID-19, the income of homestays was affected by changing homestay operators’ livelihood patterns. There was greater involvement in agriculture and homestay maintenance activities. Homestay operators travel to the forest and natural areas in their free time. So, there was some illegal harvest of forest resources and animal poaching incidents. Despite these adverse impacts, homestay operators hoped to benefit from wildlife conservation once the pandemic was over. So, they were positive toward wildlife conservation and homestay tourism. Health, hygiene, and safety (HHS) measures were given higher importance in homestays during COVID-19. The homestay policies before and during COVID-19 focused on HHS. To stop infections in the initial phase of COVID-19, operators closed homestays. Once COVID-19 and travel restrictions were eased, homestay stakeholders focused on using masks and hand sanitizers and following social distance requirements. They recommended monitoring HHS measures and updating the guidelines to monitor homestays. Vaccination was essential to prevent COVID-19, so it should be prioritized for homestay operators. Operators will find it easier to run their homestay business efficiently after completing vaccination.

Author ORCID Identifier



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