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Many of you might feel this is unwanted but a Welcome Gift gets your relationship with the guest to a good start and creates a first impression that really lasts in his mind. That’s why I would highly recommend it. Here are some of the things I would suggest as a good welcome gift. I have chosen items which are easily available and which you can stock in multiples so that your housekeeper can keep them as part of preparing the homestay to receive guests.
1. Something of local significance which can be consumed while they are staying at your place. For example, a box of “Chikki” or Fudge if your home is located in Lonavala, a selection of choice teas and coffees if you are in a plantation, etc.
2. Assortment of chocolates. These are easily available and are usually well-appreciated. Rather than over-the-counter branded chocolates, you could order homemade chocolates from a supplier who could prepare a box with a greeting card from yourself. Homemade chocolates are usually tastier and have a personalised touch.
3. Gift Vouchers and Discount Coupons for good restaurants close to your property. I find this is something that hardly costs anything but has two-fold benefits – it will promote and add to the restaurant owners’ business and at the same time give your guests something to look forward to.
4. An interesting book that has significance to your area. Make sure that you put in a personal message on the book, with the day and date of their stay as a memory of their visit to your holiday home.
5. Personalized gifts. In India, something that is very popular with foreign tourists, is a small Ganpati or a doll in Indian costume. This will serve as a great reminder when they go back to their country.