Jaipur, Sep 22 (SocialNews.XYZ) Heritage hotels should promote and preserve the local art and culture around them, Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra said on Thursday while addressing the inaugural session of the 9th annual convention of Indian Heritage Hotels Association (IHHA) at Alila Fort Bishangarh in Jaipur.
"The Covid-19 pandemic has been a challenging time for all sectors but the tourism and hospitality industry was the worst hit. The folk arts and artistes also had to face immense losses during the pandemic. When the heritage hotels are recuperating as important tourist destinations across the country, they must proactively promote and preserve the local art and culture around them," the Governor said.
"The way of life of the local communities, their handicrafts, modes of livelihood, the crops they grow, their traditional ways of entertainment and leisure should be part of the experiences the heritage hotels give to tourists," he said.
The Governor also talked about late former Rajasthan chief minister, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat's efforts in the development of tourism and conservation of heritage in the state. He further said that with a melange of magnificent forts, palaces and castles, Rajasthan has immense possibilities for tourism.
V.P. Singh Badnore, former Punjab Governor, said, "Rajasthan is the first state to declare tourism as an industry and this will give a big boost to employment in the state. This will also aid the hoteliers, tour guides, and restaurateurs etc who suffered a catastrophic blow in the pandemic." He further stressed on the need to preserve not just the tangible heritage assets such as buildings, monuments etc but also the intangible heritage assets like folklore, culture, among others.
Former Deputy Speaker and owner of Alila Fort, Bishangarh, Rao Rajendra Singh, said, "As per the World Travel and Tourism Council report, in 2019 the hotel and tourism sector's contribution to the national economy was worth Rs 15 trillion. During the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a 40 per cent fall and it dropped to Rs 9 trillion. Now in 2022, the industry has surpassed pre-Covid levels and now it stands at Rs 15.9 trillion."
Highlighting the importance of employment the sector provides, he said that every year it gives 2.4 million jobs. The sector is also gender neutral and provides employment to many women, he added.
President of Honour (Emeritus), IHHA, Maharaja Gaj Singh of Jodhpur, said that heritage plays a significant role in reminding people of the social values of the ancestors. Every state has its own unique heritage which needs to be protected, he added.
Conference Chairman and Vice President, IHHA, Steve Borgia, introduced the theme of the convention - 'Reincarnation of IHHA to Conserve and Protect Indian Heritage'. "The world is eagerly looking for a different 'India' and there is a need to think and do differently and strengthen our destinations and focus on the resurrection of all monuments, forts, palaces etc," he said.