Renovation aid has big scope: Heritage hoteliers | Ahmedabad News

Ahmedabad: Tour operators and heritage hoteliers of Gujarat have lauded the state government’s renewed heritage tourism and homestay policy.
Financial assistance from the state government for restoration and renovation of heritage properties was one of the key demands of heritage hoteliers and tourism industry experts for years.
Industry players feel that Gujarat, which is home to at least 90 small and big palaces, will greatly benefit from this policy and if executed well, it can turn the state into a heritage tourism hub.
“Royal families who have been managing several heritage properties in Gujarat are the ethos of the state’s culture. However, most of them are in a state of neglect because it takes a humongous amount to restore the property keeping in mind its original structure and heritage value. For a long time, existing properties could not avail the benefits from the policies. The state government’s decision will provide a much-needed booster dose to revive and promote the heritage tourism in Gujarat,” said Nawab Sultan Salauddinkhan Babi of Balasinor, who owns and operate the Garden Palace Heritage Home stays.
Tour operators believe this will help boost heritage tourism in a big way in Gujarat. “Rajasthan is a classic example of developing heritage properties with government’s support. The new policy of Gujarat will go a long way by restoring and showcasing Gujarat’s heritage to the world by developing new tourist attractions,” said Manish Sharma, chairman, Tourism Development Society.
Gujarat is already home to the Unesco world heritage city of Ahmedabad, and world heritage sites such as Rani ki Vav and Champaner along with historical cities such as Lothal and Dholavira. Industry players feel that the move will greatly benefit smaller players to set up homestays.
Explaining this in context of Ahmedabad, Abhay Mangaldas, advisor, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), said, “This is a great opportunity for the world heritage city of Ahmedabad, because residents of the pols, which is our living heritage, will now be able to easily start with homestays and bed and breakfast. While it will certainly help huge properties promote heritage and tourism in a big way, smaller players can reap the maximum benefit from this.”

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