Saturday, August 18, 2018


THE 7th ANNUAL CONVENTION









The Tri-colour flag has been stylized on the background. 
The Chakra behind the palanquin symbolizes IHHA's multi-directional activities.  
Peacock symbolizes the pride of our country.
The logo in total denotes our new focus to reinvent India as a composite Heritage destination.  








THE THEME

REVITALIZING INDIA AS A HERITAGE DESTINATION”

THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT INDIA THAT SEEMS IRRESISTIBLE.FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL THE WHOLE WORLD CAME HERE.WHAT EVER THE REASONS INDIA NEVER FAILED TO ENTHRALL ITS VISITORS.CENTURIES LATER NOTHING HAS CHANGED.WE STILL HAVE SO MUCH TO OFFER..BUT IN THE LAST 100 YEARS MORE  HISTORIC MONUMENTS HAVE BEEN DESTROYED.MOST ARTIFACTS STOLEN. 
MANY A CULTURE SMASHED.AND MORE ORAL TRADITIONS LOST FOR EVER THAN IN ALL YEARS THAN OUR CIVILIZATION HAS BEEN IN EXISTENCE.A HERITAGE ONCE LOST IS LOST FOR EVER.

IHHA’S CONVENTION 2018 THEME IS AN OUTCOME OF THE ABOVE.

WELCOME TO BHARATPUR
Message from BAPJI...   


"It has been a long and fruitful journey nurturing the Indian Heritage Hotels Association and to be standing here with a group of well meaning passionate heritage hoteliers. I am equally happy that today we are not just concerned about our own hotels but the heritage of our areas & of our country at large.

The theme of the annual convention “REVITALISING INDIA AS THE HERITAGE DESTINATION.” We are all here to explore, debate, deliberate and to arrive at a definite road map for resurrection of this sacred land. We have thus far taken our heritage for granted and been extremely irresponsible  & have neglected to provide the desired care to protect and preserve our invaluable heritage both tangible and intangible.

I thank you all, specially the international speakers who have accepted our invitation to come from far away lands to share their own nation’s conservation experiences. I am sure this will add to our learning  & I am positive that the Bharatpur Convention will go down as a landmark in the history of the IHHA."

HH. GAJSINGH JI II
MAHARAJA OF JODHPUR 
President - IHHA



"As General Secretary of IHHA, I take immense pleasure in executing this event. IHHA President HH Gajsingh II, Maharaja of Jodhpur takes keen interest in this event and its success. I frankly think, IHHA will adorn a new appropriate hat after this event in trying to protect, preserve and promote India as a Heritage Destination. I call upon all members of IHHA to work towards its direction. In fact, we need to come together as a country. Let us learn from countries like Singapore, France, Australia, et al". 

Mr. Randhir Vikram Singh 
General Secretary - IHHA


IHHA - AN INTRODUCTION

Heritage Hotels in the country have already created a niche for themselves in the world of tourism. These properties are operating in buildings like forts, castles, palaces, hunting lodges and traditional havelis or period buildings. It is mandatory for these buildings, immaterial of their size to have been built prior to 1935. These properties must have their own distinctive architecture, ambience and history.
The Indian Heritage Hotels Association (IHHA) came into being in 1990 as a result of the Heritage Tourism movement – which was initiated to make Heritage Buildings productive and to maintain them.
The next step was the recognition of heritage classification by the Department of Tourism & Culture, Government of India on 1 January, 1990. The IHHA was thus formed in 1990 and was registered in 2001. The main objects of the Association are to promote Heritage Tourism by preserving and reviving the heritage hotels. This, in turn, also helps in reviving the rich, cultural, historical and architectural heritage of India. Furthermore, it also gives a fillip to revive the traditional arts, crafts, music and folklore by projecting their skills through these Heritage Hotels. The Government of India recognised Heritage Hotels as a separate category in January 1991 and categorised the Heritage Hotels in three categories viz. “Heritage”, “Heritage Classic” and “Heritage Grand”.
It is indeed a matter of satisfaction that Tourism and Hospitality industry have found a place in our economy as effective instruments for generating employment, earning revenue and foreign exchange. What is more they also enhance cultural preservation, traditional crafts, fairs, festivals and creative activities. This facilitates in spreading the overall benefits of tourism. There is, perhaps, no comparable field of activity where so many people are employed directly or indirectly. Tourism Sector has already been recognised as an important engine of growth for the economy of the country.
The major challenges for heritage sector are the old assets which require high cost of conservation and restoration, low room base which affects feasibility, high maintenance i.e. old plumbing /fixtures, lack of skill and training of the staff, lack of infrastructure such as drainage / power / communication, lack of connectivity, etc.
The Association was formed in 1990 with 14 members. The strength of the members now rose to 193 in 2018, which are spread in different parts of the country. To name the few of them are as follows:

·   Bal Samand Lake Palace, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
·   Shiv Niwas Palace, Udaipur, Rajasthan
·   Neemrana Fort, Neemrana, Rajasthan
·   Castle Mandawa, Mandawa, Rajasthan
·   The Judge’s Court, Pragpur, Himachal Pradesh
·   INDeco Hotels Swamimalai, Chennai
·   Coconut Lagoon, Kottayam, Kerala
·   The Malabar House, Fort Cochin, Kerala

The Indian Heritage Hotels Association (IHHA) has been instrumental in formulating the Heritage Tourism Policies of Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan. Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Utter Pradesh. These policies have now been formalized in these States. The Association is now a significant body which aims at the following: - 

·         Establishing standards in Heritage Hoteliering.
·         Laying down Heritage Classification Guidelines.
·         Representing to the Government the various problems of Heritage Hotels and the support required by them.
·         Working closely with the Ministry of Tourism to establish policies and guidelines.
·         Working closely with various State Governments to establish Heritage Tourism Policies.
·         Promoting Heritage Tourism in the in-bound tourism market.

The Indian Heritage Hotels Association (IHHA)has started its 1st Annual Convention in the year 2012 held at Nahargarh Ranthambhore followed by 2nd Annual Convention in 2013 at the Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur, 3rd Annual Convention in 2014 at Diggi Palace, Jaipur and 4th Annual Convention in 2015 at Nahargarh, Ranthambhore respectively. The following dignitaries are the witness for the Annual Convention as Chief Guest and Guest of Honour.

·         Smt. Bina Kak, Hon’ble Minister for Tourism, Govt. of Rajasthan in 2012
·         Smt. Chandresh Kumari, Hon’ble Minister for Culture, Govt. of India in 2013
·         Shri Shripad Naik, Hon,ble Minister of State for Culture & Tourism, Govt. of India in 2014
·         Smt. Vasundhra Raje, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Rajasthan in 2015, 2016 & 2017
·         Smt. Krishnendra Kaur, Hon’ble Minister of State for Tourism, Govt. of Rajasthan in 2015 & 2017
·         Shri K. D. Singh, Chairman, Parliamentary Committee on Tourism, Govt. of India in 2015
·         Shri V. P. Singh Badnore, Hon,ble Governor of Punjab & Administrator UT Punjab in 2016
·         Shri Jaykumar Jitendrasinh Rawal, Hon’ble Minister for Tourism, Govt. of Maharashtra in 2016 & 2017
 
Presently following are the Office bearers of the Indian Heritage Hotels Association:

·   President : H.H. Maharaja Gaj Singh ji of Jodhpur
·   Vice President : Shri Vijai Lal
·   Vice President : Shri Jose Dominic
·   Vice President : Shri Steve Borgia
·   General Secretary : Shri Randhir Vikram Singh
·   Joint Secretary : Shri Gaj Singh
·   Joint Secretary : Shri Joerg Drechsel
·   Treasurer: Shri Prithvi Singh


Rajendra Singh Pachar
Convention Chairman
Phone No. : +911412221399 / mob no:+91-9875865331

Reinventing India as a Heritage Destination

It was truly said by Lord Macaulay in a speech at British Parliament on 2nd February,  1835; “ I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief, such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage and therefore, I propose that we replace her old & ancient education system and culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.”

I strongly believe that India’s culture and heritage are so deep-rooted that even the outsiders like the Muslims, British or Mughal, who came to conquer ‘Bharat’ failed to break the cultural, social and educational system of India but in the last 70 years we as citizens of ‘Bhaarat’ have failed to keep our heritage and culture intact.

Below listed ways can be adopted to reinvent our nation as a heritage destination: 

1. Joint Family Values
The beauty about the Indian heritage lies in its age-long prevailing tradition of the joint family system. With the advent of modernization, younger generations are turning away from the joint family form, generations need to understand the role and importance of a joint family system in the development of an individual and society as a whole. Since there were many family members living together, the responsibilities were shared. There was common living, shared responsibilities and also co-existence, which played a key role in development. Generations today are getting more money-centric which is pulling them away from the whole concept of culture.

2. Cultural Values
 India has a unique and variant culture ranging from values, attire, music, dances or   architecture. There is a special need today to not see culture as a burden on the way of living and to understand, how the importance of festivals in Indian culture, celebration can be a passageway to the most profound aspects of life. Youth today should be encouraged to understand the science behind the festivals and traditions which are passed over the generations. Significance of the festivals, ceremonies, Vaastu needs  to be understood and adopted with the scientific viewpoint and rationality, in hand with the logics and new ideas. The scientific viewpoint associated with the big days of Hindu calendar needs to be highlighted in reference to the science associated with it like how we should keep our spine erect on shiv ratri. Not many are aware of the actual meaning or the way to celebrate Maha Shivratri or the big days. The system should be adopted in reference to the actual reason of celebrating it with reference to the science of nature.

3. India’s Rural Values
The definition of India needs to be framed in the way Gandhi imagined ‘Bhaarat’ that is through the ‘village economy and adoption of our traditions and rituals’. If the village develops India will develop too. The Real India lies in the 7,00,000villages. After the demise of Mahatma Gandhi, the whole process is reversed. Urbanisation has challenged this whole process. Generations today need to have a profound love for the land and respect for the people who toiled in it. India taken as a whole, used to be self-sufficient, that is no longer the case. Considering India’s rural potential, this is extremely worrying. The social structure can be reframed by mulling over these facts:
a. Development of village economy through Tehsil Headquarters: Government should target Tehsil headquarters for developing industrial parks, educational institutes and hospitals, proper transportation system should be placed creating more opportunities so that people won’t be inclined towards the city and Tehsil headquarters would be developed in a dignified way. This would not only provide employment to artisans but also would keep the heritage intact.
b. Redefining the Social Structure: India is an agricultural dominated economy where the major workforce of the nation resides in the rural areas and small cities and contributes in the GDP through agricultural allied activities and various indigenous art forms. But what is thoroughly shocking is the fact that this population of our nation is categorized in the lowest strata of our social structure, below all political bureaucrats and private sector workforce. There is an urgent need like all western countries, to enlighten upon our national public the fact that this segment of our society who is the major workforce deserves an equal standing as a public servant.  
c. Land Reforms 
The framework of issues such as the land ceiling act, agricultural norms and trading of land needs to be revived for the betterment of India as a whole. Land ceiling act was enforced by the government with a great vision of equal distribution of land for the common good which encouraged more agricultural production but the implementation of the act wasn’t properly administered. This has resulted in fragmentation and various detrimental issues such as deforestation, blocking of the natural flow of streams and rivers, decrease in the water table levels due to multiple drilling of wells and tube wells, disguised unemployment and inability to adopt advanced agricultural processes. 

4. Roti/Kapda/Makaan 
Land and housing is a basic need of Mankind like food and clothing. But In today’s scenario, the pricing of land and its trading is being done like a commodity in stock market. Hence, government must introduce policies such as a Locking period before resale, restriction on ownership of multiple housing properties, price monitoring etc to ensure that all population of our nation has access to it at an affordable price. 

Societies come and go but heritage lives on and achieves the status of immortality. It remains manifested in the hearts and minds of the populace like the embodiment of the soul. It forever remains deep rooted in the ethos, customs and cultures. With temporal and spatial progress of human race the visibility of heritage fades away but the roots remain deeply embedded. We need to make a concerted endeavour to embark upon sustaining the relics of heritage enabling to remain etched in our minds through generations.
Like how roots are still embedded in the ground, inspite of the forests being destroyed by the human race, which develops wholly as soon as it's given protection, our Indian values and culture are the roots which are deeply rooted in Indians, only it requires a little protection and encouragement to keep our culture , traditions and rituals intact


VENUE OF 2018 CONVENTION 


  Laxmi Vilas Palace, 
    Old Agra Achhnera Road, Kakaji Ki Kothi, Bharatpur, Rajasthan 321001
    T: +915644231199, +915644223
    E: reservations@laxmivilas.com
    W: http://www.laxmivilas.com
    




PROGRAMME


12th September - Arrival
13th September - Convention & AGM
14th September - Conference
15th September - Departure

Conference Tentative Programme Schedule : 
Click on the link given below

https://jmp.sh/L3W3YwW


CONFERENCE

REVITALIZING INDIA AS A HERITAGE DESTINATION

THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT INDIA THAT SEEMS IRRESISTIBLE.FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL THE WHOLE WORLD CAME HERE.WHAT EVER THE REASONS INDIA NEVER FAILED TO ENTHRAL ITS VISITORS.CENTURIES LATER NOTHING HAS CHANGED.WE STILL HAVE SO MUCH TO OFFER..BUT IN THE LAST 100 YEARS MORE  HISTORIC MONUMENTS HAVE BEEN DESTROYED.MOST ARTIFACTS STOLEN.MANY A CULTURE SMASHED.AND MORE ORAL TRADITIONS LOST FOR EVER THAN IN ALL YEARS THAN OUR CIVILIZATION HAS BEEN IN EXISTENCE.A HERITAGE ONCE LOST IS LOST FOR EVER.
IHHA’S CONVENTION 2018 THEME IS AN OUTCOME OF THE ABOVE. LOT MORE QUESTIONS SURFACE  WHEN WE STAND TO CONFRONT AND CURE THIS ISSUE. IN PURSUIT OF TAKING THE RIGHT TRACK .

1.NOW, WILL THIS IMPACT THE FUTURE  OF INDIAN TOURISM. DID IT EVER.
2.ARE WE CURRENTLY LOSING THE  HERITAGE AURA.
3.ARE WE TAKING OUR HERITAGE FOR GRANTED OR ARE WE STILL HOLDING IT TOGETHER
4.WHERE DID WE FAIL IN OUR HERITAGE PRESERVATION./CONSERVATION AND PROMOTION.
5.ARE WE CARRYING THE INTANGIBLE  ALONG WITH MONUMENTAL AND NATURAL HERITAGE.
6.ARE CURRENT PLANS ADDRESSING THE ISSUE.
7.HOW DID OTHER COUNTRIES ADDRESS THE ISSUE.
                                                                                                                              
LOT MORE QUESTIONS SURFACE  WHEN WE STAND TO CONFRONT AND CURE THIS ISSUE.IN PURSUIT OF TAKING THE RIGHT TRACK  FROM POLICY  TO PRESERVATION AND PROMOTION..
VERY CAREFULLY, SPEAKERS HAVE BEEN CHOSEN INCLUDING A COUPLE OF THEM FROM OVESEAS TO TABLE THE CURRENT SITUATION AND DRAW A ROAD MAP FOR THE FUTURE  IN BLACK AND WHITE..



MEMBERS WHO HAVE CONFIRMED THEIR PARTICIPATION IN THE CONVENTION:

Click on the link given below



SPEAKERS

1.      Mr. Vinod Daniel, Board Member ICOM and Chair AusHeritage.

2.      Dr.Venu Vasudevan IAS. Principal Secretary, Department of Forest, Government of Kerala. (SKYPE)

3.      Ms. Jean Wee, Director, Preservation of Sites and Monuments-National Heritage Board, Singapore

4.    Ms. Shikha Jain, Member of Advisory Committee on World Heritage Matters

5.    Mr. Navin Berry, Author, Destination India. International Tourism Consultant.

6.    Mr. Ashish Gupta, Founder : StrategyPluto & Consulting CEO: FAITH - Federation of Associations in Indian               Tourism & Hospitality

7.    Mr. Janhwij Sharma - Joint Director General (Conservation, World Heritage) of ASI.

8.    Mr. Amannath - CO-founder and chairman of Neemrana Hotels Chain

9.   Ms. N.R.Visalatchy - Director - Museums , Government of Telangana





Mr. Steve Borgia
Conference Chairman
steve@indecohotels.com
+91-8754419619/+91-9444414369
 ITS BEYOND TIME TO…
REVITALIZE  INDIA
 AS A HERITAGE
DESTINATION.

THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT INDIA THAT SEEMS IRRESISTIBLE. FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL THE WHOLE WORLD CAME HERE.WHAT EVER THE REASONS, INDIA NEVER FAILED TO ENTHRALL ITS VISITORS. CENTURIES LATER NOTHING HAS CHANGED.WE STILL HAVE SO MUCH TO OFFER.
REMEMBER WHEN THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT CLINTON VISITED THE TAJ MAHAL ,HE HAD SOMETHING VERY SIMPLE TO SAY.BUT EXTREMELY DEEP AND SIGNIFICANT. NO OTHER MONUMENT IN THE WORLD HAS HAD THIS KIND  OF RECOGNITION.STANDING IN FRONT OF THE MONUMENT HE SAID  “ I AM HERE WITH MY DAUGHTER,MY WIFE IS BACK HOME IN AMERICA.YES, I NOW REALIZE THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD.THOSE WHO HAVE SEEN THE TAJ  AND THOSE WHO HAVE NOT .THEREFORE , I MUST ADMIT ,TODAY MY FAMILY STANDS DIVIDED.” OH WHAT A DISTINCTION. BUT THE FACT IS,  WHY IS OUR GLORY ONLY PORTRAYING  THE TAJ,QUTUB,FORTS ET AL.WHY HAVE WE NOT CREATED ANYTHING OF THAT REPUTATION AFTER.THE BIGGER QUESTION IS THAT ARE WE AT LEAST TAKING GOOD CARE OF WHAT WE HAVE INHERITED.

BUT IN THE LAST 100 YEARS MORE  HISTORIC MONUMENTS HAVE BEEN DESTROYED.MOST ARTIFACTS STOLEN. 
MANY A CULTURE SMASHED.AND MORE ORAL TRADITIONS LOST FOR EVER THAN IN ALL YEARS THAN OUR CIVILIZATION HAS BEEN IN EXISTENCE.A HERITAGE ONCE LOST IS LOST FOR EVER.WHEN IT CAME TO TOURISTS,IT WAS INDIA’S HERITAGE,BUILT AND INTANGIBLE THAT ATTRACTED.WELL,INDIA IS A WHOLE WORLD IN A COUNTRY .THE WORLD KNOWS IT TOO.BUT THE DANGER COMES FROM THE FACT THAT POLICY AND THE TRADE ARE  GIVING WAY FOR NEW WESTERN PRODUCTS,VERY DISTANT FROM OUR CULTURE AND MOVING AWAY FROM  OUR OWN HERITAGE. THE INTANGIBLE HERITAGE HAS QUIETLY SLIPPED FROM THE CORE.WELL THE MONUMENTS WILL BE AFLOAT FOR SOME MORE TIME.THE QUESTION TODAY IS ARE WE TAKING  OUR HERITAGE FOR GRANTED OR ARE WE NO MORE DEPENDENT ON THEM FOR ATTRACTING OUR TOURISTS.OUR FANCY HOTELS AND ALIEN PRODUCTS ARE JUST NOT GOING TO HELP.

THE WORLD HAS SO GRACIOUSLY BOTHERED ABOUT PRESERVING FLORA AND FAUNA. SO MUCH IS GOING INTO SAVING THE  INDIAN TIGERS FROM GOING EXTINCT. YET THERE ARE MANY THAT REMAIN IGNORED.HERITAGE IS ONE OF THEM. MAGICAL UPWARD GROWTH OF TOURISM INBOUND FIGURES CANNOT BE A RESULT OF A QUICK FIX SOLUTION.  BUT MOST COUNTRIES HAVE REALIZED THE ECONOMIC LIBERATION THAT THIS INDUSTRY CAN PROVIDE.  AND AN ADDED BONUS BEING THE GROWTH OF THE DOMESTIC TOURISM, ESPECIALLY FOR INDIA.  ONE VERY SUPPORTING FACTOR TO GROWTH IN BOTH THESE SECTORS INBOUND AND DOMESTIC  IS STILL  THE HERITAGE .TANGIBLE AND INTANGIBLE.  NEEDLESS TO SAY, NICHE  TOURISM AND SPECIALLY HERITAGE TOURISM ARE ALSO  ON A GLOBAL UPWARD TREND.  THE CURRENT NUMBERS THAT ARE COMING INTO INDIA ARE RESULT OF THE MODERN TRAVELER LOOKING AT INDIA AS A RELIGIOUS AND CULTURAL DESTINATION.  TO CAPITALIZE ON INDIA BEING AN EQUALLY ECO ZONE AND  HERITAGE RICH, INDIA SHOULD SERIOUSLY POSITION ITSELF SO.  MORE IMPORTANTLY, INDIA SHOULD ALSO SET ITSELF STRICT GUIDELINES AND CRITERIA TO SUSTAIN AND BE LOT MORE RESPONSIBLE.  UNFORTUNATELY, EVEN ECO TOURISM PROJECTS ARE DAMAGING FRAGILE ECO ZONES.  IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS ANY NUMBER OF HERITAGE BUILDINGS HAVE BEEN DEMOLISHED.  CULTURES LOST AND ECOLOGY DESTROYED.  AND SO ON AND SO FORTH. 

THE TRAVEL TRADE IS STILL CELEBRATING THE TAJ MAHAL AND THE QUTUB .HAS THERE BEEN ANY THING EVEN SLIGHTLY CLOSER TO THESE BEEN CREATED.THE ANSWER IS A BIG NO.WE ARE STRUGGLING EVEN TO PROTECT OR PRESERVE  THEM. ON THE OTHER HAND HUGE BUDGETS HAVE BEEN PROVIDED TO CREATE ICONIC DESTINATIONS.MINISTRY OF TOURISM IS LOOKING FOR  THE CORPORATE TO ADOPT THESE MONUMENTS .DON’T KNOW THE IMPACT OF  THE SCHEME YET .TAJ MAHAL STILL REMAINS INDIA’S TOURISM ICON.AND WILL REMAIN SO. ALL OF A SUDDEN ,SOMEWHERE ONE EELS THAT WORD HERITAGE IS  LOOSING  ITS MEANING AND MOVING INTO A  DEEP IN THE SILENT SPACE….

EVERY 100 YEARS OR MORE, WHEN ONE ANCIENT CIVILIZATION AROSE AND ANOTHER DECLINED,
SOME WEPT OTHERS GLOATED ,THE HERITAGE  OF A SPACE,TANGIBLE OR INTANGIBLE,CANNOT BE LOST OR  DESTROYED.HERITAGE BELONGS NOT TO TIME. IT BELONGS TO SPECIES HAS TO BE PROTECTED,PRESERVED  AND HANDED OVER FROM ONE GENERATION TO ANOTHER WITHOUT ANY COMPROMISE.

THE INDIAN HERITAGE HOTELS 7TH. ANNUAL CONVENTION  THEME IS AN OUTCOME OF THE ABOVE.
REVITALIZING INDIA AS A HERITAGE DESTINATION”
IN PURSUIT OF TAKING THE RIGHT TRACK  FROM POLICY  TO PRESERVATION AND PROMOTION ,IHHA HAS VERY CAREFULLY INVITED SPEAKERS , INCLUDING A COUPLE OF THEM FROM OVERSEAS TO TABLE THE CURRENT SITUATION AND DRAW A ROAD MAP FOR INDIA. THE SPEAKERS  ARE FROM THE TRADE,GOVERNMENT ,PRESS ETC.PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN INVOLVED WITH HERITAGE,CULTURE ,MUSEUMS ETC. BEYOND THE SPEAKERS, WE HAVE ALSO DOCUMENTED THE VIEWS/OPINION OF A CROSS SECTION OF PEOPLE WHO MATTER.

LOT MORE QUESTIONS SURFACE  WHEN WE STAND TO CONFRONT AND CURE THIS ISSUE. IN PURSUIT OF TAKING THE RIGHT TRACK. .

1.NOW, WILL THIS  ATTITUDE  IMPACT THE FUTURE  OF INDIAN TOURISM.
2.IS INDIA CURRENTLY LOSING THE  HERITAGE AURA.
3.ARE WE TAKING OUR HERITAGE FOR GRANTED OR  AS A COUNTRY ,ARE WE STILL HOLDING IT TOGETHER.
4.WHERE DID WE FAIL IN OUR HERITAGE PRESERVATION./CONSERVATION AND PROMOTION.
5.ARE WE CARRYING THE INTANGIBLE  ALONG WITH MONUMENTAL AND NATURAL HERITAGE.
6.ARE CURRENT  POLICIES /PLANS/BUDGETS  ADDRESSING THE ISSUE.
7.HOW DID OTHER COUNTRIES ADDRESS THE ISSUE AND SUSTAIN..

FINDING ANSWERS TO THE ABOVE,CANNOT BE A PROFESSION…IT HAS TO BE BORN OUT OF  PASSION. IT CANNOT BE A GOVERNMENT ORDER. IT HAS TO BE A REALIZATION OF AN ENTIRE CIVILIZATION. I PRAY.  AS I SAID EARLIER ,THE HERITAGE  OF A SPACE,TANGIBLE OR INTANGIBLE,CANNOT BE LOST OR  DESTROYED.HERITAGE BELONGS NOT TO TIME. IT BELONGS TO SPACE.

STEVE BORGIA.


      1.Mr. Vinod Daniel             
Chair AusHeritage and Board Member International Council of Museums

Contact Details
14 Bodalla Court
Wattle Grove, NSW 2173, Australia
212 Seventh Link Road
Palkalai Nagar, Palavakkam, Chennai 41, India.
Tel: +61 411021120, +91 9840237322
Email: Vinod.daniel.am@gmail.com

VINOD DANIEL is an internationally renowned museum specialist with over 20 years in collection-related roles with the Australian Museum (Sydney) and the J Paul Getty Trust (Los Angeles). Sydney-based Vinod’s work has covered a range of specialised areas, including museum planning, conservation, management, acquisition, repatriation, capacity-building and risk assessment initiatives in over 45 countries as well as with several professional networks.
Vinod provides leadership to several national and international heritage bodies. As Chairman of the Board for AusHeritage, he leads a network of Australian heritage institutions in developing cultural heritage partnerships in the Asia-Pacific region. At IndHeritage Pty Ltd, as CEO, he is involved with key international heritage related projects. He is Board Member of the International Council of Museums, the museum peak body representing over 37,000 museum professionals and 20,000 museums from over 140 countries, and President of the Board for the Australian operations of the internationally recognised, India-based Centre for Environment Education (CEE), which is involved in environment education and sustainable development initiatives. Vinod is also CEO of India Vision Institute (IVI), a charitable Trust assisting underprivileged communities in India to access a pair of glasses. The charity is currently involved in projects in over 18 Indian states.
He has delivered over 100 workshops on museum-related aspects, published over 70 technical papers and has been quoted extensively by the media. 

The presentation of Mr. Vinod Daniel will highlight global approaches in managing heritage both tangible and intangible. Based on the speakers experience working on heritage projects in over 45 countries the presentation will highlight several best practice examples both in macro national/state level as well as in a micro site level.  The presentation will include several suggestions that can be considered as India develops as master plan for its cultural heritage sector.


2. Dr.Venu Vasudevan IAS
Principal Secretary, Department of Forest, Government of Kerala.

Title Intangible heritage and how it needs to be woven into each and every tourist experience. (SKYPE)



3. Ms. Jean Wee
Director, Preservation of Sites and Monuments-National Heritage Board, Singapore

                                                                    Contact Details
DID : 6332 4782 :: Fax +65 6332 3590  ::
61 Stamford Road, #03-08, Stamford Court, Singapore 178892


The presentation of Ms. Jean Wee will highlight the following :

Preservation : Going beyond the Physical

The effort of preserving heritage buildings takes on different approaches in different cities. In Singapore, preservation is a formalised and tiered practice. There are historic buildings that may be conserved, in some cases as precincts, as well as those that bear witness to nationally significant events that are preserved under tighter guidelines as national monuments. Each of these efforts are under separate Acts of law as well as under different ministries. However the combined effort culminates in ensuring our urban landscape is one that looks to the future with a pulse on its past. This defines not just our city, but any other city in the world that wishes to offer a unique proposition to its visitors.  
Preservation reflects to some degree its society in the choices of what gets preserved. Decisions on how it is preserved and interpreted for public education and more importantly, who decides. All cities are dynamic and retaining the original character of the city as well as its historic values is an uphill challenge. Collective effort could offer solutions in identifying strategic alliances, including various individuals or players who can inform, take ownership of the urban landscape as well as partner the authorities to manage the city, the developers and its myriad commercial interests. Increasingly, it is important to engage the public, even as many approaches introduce the idea of public partnership, stakeholder engagement. It is through policy development as well, that roles may be clarified, objectives for preservation, clarified and differing motivations and agendas distilled for the best shared outcome.
An assessment of the economic impact of the preservation ( not forgetting the opportunity cost of not doing so ) as well as how the restored building can contribute to a sense of place, ensuring its relevance for future generations continues to be an ongoing study with much to learn from other countries. It is not enough to simply demand for preservation on its own merit. It is about justifying clearly, the benefits to the unconvinced, that preservation is a strong positive. UNESCO offers a comprehensive range of 17 Sustainable Development Goals – which takes into consideration a wide spectrum of spin-offs and development opportunities for the community at large. Another approach is UNESCO’s Historic Urban Landscape which spells out an approach that is holistic and adaptable in recognising the uniqueness of each World Heritage Site and its environs.  
Preservation goes beyond saving the historic built structure. It is about ensuring that the value systems, the intangible factors and a sense of the history and community continues to be told and be perceived to be relevant. Today, heritage has an undisputed value to be harnessed. One can see the undisputed value for tourists (both domestic and international)But to a small multi-racial country like Singapore which prioritises racial harmony, heritage preservation facilitates social bonding, a sense of nationhood and an overall embracing of its diverse communities. We are also exploring how it can be a driver for creativity and innovation as well as how it can co-exist with commercial interests. In short, how it can be sustainable. Further, how the exercise of preservation lends to the liveability factor of the city, and perhaps defines it.
Understanding the value of these key national monuments to our history as well as to the history of diverse communities involves an understanding of stakeholder needs. Restoration is a costly affair and the Singapore government offers a co-funding grant that covers structurally important work, as well as yearly maintenance. It conveys that this is an investment by the government in that particular community’s heritage while inviting them to own it, and take it further. A separate grant allows for the heritage of the monument to be shared, either through a gallery, a publication or any other relevant programme that supports its heritage. Continued use of the historic building or adaptive –reuse can also bring about regeneration of a historic asset. This is often complemented by a heightened awareness of a site or a building’s heritage values.

This presentation sets out to share some of Singapore’s experiences, as well as reflections on how some projects from around the world have achieved some measure of success. Often, heritage preservation brings out the worst in everyone. It starts with major differences in opinion. Sometimes, acrimonious and goes in the opposite direction from level-headed negotiation. Preservation must be a shared pre-occupation. It should offer as many at the table, a value proposition for some level of commitment, participation and support. And it should inspire everyone to try their best, if only because it is their very own heritage that is at risk.   

4. Mr. Suman Billa IAS (CONFIRMATION AWAITED)
(awaiting information)
(SKYPE)

5. Ms. Shikha Jain
Making a Heritage Destination
Conservation, Communication and Community Involvement


6. Mr. Navin Berry
Author, Destination India. International Tourism Consultant.


Navin Berry, Founder and Director, Cross Section Media has been a part of India’s tourism story since 1975 and is credited for many firsts in the industry. In his over four decades of association with the tourism industry, he launched India’s first independently produced tourism magazine – Destination India in 1975 -  produced the first textbook on Indian tourism in 1978, besides organizing the first industry seminar on tourism matters in 1976. He was instrumental in setting up of the New Delhi Hoteliers Forum, in the early 1990s, a first of its kind in that time, bringing together General Managers of 5-star properties in Delhi and NCR to create mutual awareness and to understand best practices for each other. 
Cross Section Media is credited for organising India’s first national and international Buyer meet – SATTE. It emerged to become one of the leading travel trade platforms in Asia. He ran it successfully till 2011 before exiting the brand in 2011. 
His most recent initiative, BITB (Bharat International Tourism Bazaar) is a 360-degree tourism platform which brings together diverse stakeholders of tourism verticals for business, networking and knowledge sharing. 

He has been a recipient of numerous awards and accolades, most notably from MoT and industry associations.

Topic :
1. The recent story on tourism, then last few years, where we may have possibly gone wrong, and why?
2. The industry, our associations and the government( mainly MoT ) - then and now. What was tourism then ( when I started 45 years ago) and what is it today. How we have braced ourselves to the changes, or been unable to change?
3. Heritage - who will be the custodian of Indian heritage?


Over the decades, the understanding and comprehension of tourism have dramatically enlarged and transformed into a completely different entity. From sightseeing, once considered all of tourism, it has expanded to cover a much wider gamut of activities. New-age drivers, so to speak. It encompasses weddings, MICE, experiential tourism, adventure, and others. There is so much more and all of it has grown at a pulsating rate. Such has been the transformation that all that is pure tourism is essentially being overridden by new-age drivers.
While this organic growth has come about, owing to a growing number of Indians with disposable incomes amidst an unprecedented infusion of technology, making travel a more hassle-free exercise to undertake, unfortunately, the industry itself has been found reluctant in chasing these new streams. It has been a double-whammy for tourism, further diluting the original plot. What’s even more damaging is that stakeholder associations have continued to be stagnant and have not embraced the new vision. It is fast diminishing their relevance, pushing them towards obscurity.



Heritage and tourism have a symbiotic relationship.  For both to ably complement each other, heritage needs to be financially sustainable, as the question of its sustainability would always hold primacy. Therefore, in the age of disruptions, somebody needs to rock the boat and don the hat of a disruptor for Indian heritage. Though, we must be mindful that no existing stakeholder has ever disrupted the industry. It is always a newcomer, with the knack of solving an existing problem and the ability to scale up to drive profits. 


7. Mr. Ashish Gupta
Founder : StrategyPluto & Consulting CEO: FAITH - Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality

Aashish Gupta is the founder of  StrategyPluto. Over the past 23 years,  Aashish has handheld  over 150  large, medium & small companies and Governments on strategic planning, budgeting, vision workshops &  board  reviews, across 30+ sub-sectors.   Earlier, Aashish was with Ernst & Young India where he was also the India lead for tourism, travel & hospitality  & metals,  mining &
mineral sectors for their Business Advisory Services. Prior to consulting, Aashish was with the Four Seasons & the Leela Hotels. Aashish is a Deans's list holder a top rank MBA in corporate strategy & corporate finance from ENPC at Paris & a graduate in first class in hospitality management from IHM India. He is a French government scholarship holder in tourism services. He speaks English, French & Hindi. He is also the Consulting CEO of The Federation of Associations of Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH), the policy think tank of the 10 national tourism associations of India. 

Topic : India - Leveraging our history to lead for our future
Speech Summary 
Indian Tourism: Its heritage is its future...
India has been rated as having some of the best cultural & natural assets in the world. However, these do not translate into tourism advantages for India as India has less than  1% of the foreign tourist arrivals globally. It is estimated that India has a stock of more than 0.2 million heritage sites. However less than 1% are believed to have serious visitation by foreign & domestic tourists. Countries round the world have taken stock of their heritage and have developed sustainable tourism products around it, by inviting private sector as an equal stakeholder through a mix of branding , tax  & joint development strategies. This session by Aashish will briefly explore such strategies and ideate upon a ‘way forward’ strategy for Indian Tourism so that it makes its heritage its future for a sustained global competitive advantage, while giving adding another lease of life to these heritage assets through local stakeholder involvement. 


8.    Mr. Janhwij Sharma 
Joint Director General (Conservation, World Heritage) of ASI.

9.    Mr. Amannath 
CO-founder and chairman of Neemrana Hotels Chain

Re-inventing India as a heritage destination.

It is the Government vision and the citizens' aspirations that need re-inventing not the country as the destination. That is India's eternal aspect.
We must deal with our complexes as a colonised people to be proud to stand as ourselves - not always trying to be someone else.

I want to quote amusing and tragic examples of this dilemma. And emphasize that a Smart City is not one which is devoid of history , tradition and heritage - but one which needs to be efficient, clean and one where the past and present co-exist.


A standardised India would be tragic. I will show some examples of Neemrana's work all over India to demonstrate this point.

9.   Ms. N.R.Visalatchy 
Director - Museums , Government of Telangana

Heritage preservation and conservation:A narrative through three case
studies
Telangana, the youngest state in Indian Union was formed in June, 2014. The history of the state
goes back to 2nd century BCE. Located in the middle of the Deccan plateau , that which is
Telangana today has witnessed much of history over the past two millennium. The mighty
Satavahana emperors ruled from here and left behind precious wealth of antiquities. Successive
rulers influenced the society in many ways. The impact of each dynasty in art and architecture was
thus inevitable.
No natural barriers to protect, this part of the country was always vulnerable and bore the brunt of
invading armies from north. Such onslaughts impacted structures which were symbol of societal
and cultural identity. Some of the structures were totally lost. Some lost their identity. A few more
were hidden with a hope to be revived at a conducive juncture. And some, completely forgotten!
This presentation tries to put in perspective three case scenarios with their historical setting. The
present day challenges of preservation and conservation of immovable heritage and conflict
management would be the focal point.The case studies would include: Northern Keerti Thorana of
Sri Mallikarjuna Swamy Temple, Inavolu, Warrangal Telangana; Reclaiming Sri Kasi Vishweswara

Temple, Kalabagur, Sangareddy and a touching testimony in stone to man -animal relation.




The intention of IHHA is to holistically document the views of all who feel very strongly on the theme of this convention REVITALIZING INDIA AS A HERITAGE DESTINATION”. The Speakers are listed above. There are others who are unable to travel to Bharatpur on the 14th. Their views are listed below.

STAKEHOLDERS
(stakeholders will not be present at the convention due to their prior engagement)


1. Maj. Gen. (Retd.) L.K. Gupta - Chairman, INTACH

2. Ms. Ranjini Manian -  Founder–CEO of Global Adjustments

3. Mr. Rakesh Mathur - Former CEO BASS ( IHG ) Hotels, South & West Asia & Former President ITC         
    WelcomHeritage Hotels

4. Mr. S.K. Misra - Founder-Chairman of Indian Trust for Rural Heritage and Development.

5. Mr. Abhay Mangaldas  - Executive Committee Member - Indian Heritage Hotels Association

6. Ms. Shoba Mohan - Founder Partner - Rare India

7. Prof. Dr. Nimit Chowdhary - Professor and Head - Department of Tourism, Hotel,       
    Hospitality, and Heritage Studies - Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi 

8. Mr. Dipak Deva - Managing Director, SITA World Tours

9. Mr. Sanjeeth - 

10. Mr. Bandip - 

11Mr Sujit Banarjee - Former Secretary - Ministry of Tourism . Government of India

12. Mr. Ratish Nanda, CEO - Aga Khan Trust for Culture


1. Maj. Gen. (Retd.) L.K. Gupta 
    Chairman, INTACH


2. Ms. Ranjini Manian 
Founder–CEO of Global Adjustments

Ranjini Manian, founder of Global Adjustments, India’s pioneering relocations and cross-
cultural training company, has worked with 78 nationalities and 450 companies over the last 25
years. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Culturama, India’s only free magazine that explains diverse
facets of our culture month on month to not only expats but also Indians

everywhere. Ranjini currently runs the Global Adjustment Foundation to champion women.

Thoughts : 
Reinventing India as a heritage destination is the need of the hour, given that the 21st Century
world has understood our country’s importance as an investment destination, but needs help
with linking our business ethos with our cultural and traditional one. The story behind Jeff Bezos’
investment of Rs.26 billion in India in May 2018 illustrates the importance of this link.
About ten years ago, the Amazon chief came to India for the first time, just before the launch of
Kindle, to get a feel of the retail business atmosphere here. I had the
privilege of being his business culture coach. I thought the best way to
introduce him to the way India buys, was to give him a live
demonstration. So after the classroom immersive training, I took him
to a sari shop in Chennai and we observed a bride doing her wedding
shopping. As she discussed her choices with the group of women with
her, I explained to Jeff how we in India seek group opinions on our
purchases. He saw how retail behavior was price sensitive, as the
women wondered whether a similar showroom across the street would
be cheaper. And when one lady pointed out that a well-known actress
had worn a particular colour in a television serial, the bride immediately
selected a saree in that shade, helping Jeff understand the importance
of celebrity endorsement in India.
After assimilating these cultural nuances in business deals, Jeff flew to Varanasi to take in the
spirituality that India embodies. He went back to the USA and invested the first billion dollars in
Amazon India, which today stands as a mega investor. Most Foreign Direct Investors
understand the importance of tailoring their business approach to India’s mindset, and their
success means more growth for India too.
As a business-culture coach for the last 25 years, I have been helping India
investors appreciate our country’s vast tangible heritage, expressed in monuments, handicrafts
and nature, and also its intangible heritage – found in our ways of life, value systems and ethical
codes that transcend religious boundaries, yet embody the essence of world religions. This has
resulted in expatriates being able to understand how to work with India to the mutual advantage
of our country and theirs.
As the 75th anniversary of our Independence draws near, it is time to look at building a
Brand India that goes beyond the purely business and the purely heritage. We could easily
combine the strengths of the two to present a package that the rest of the world cannot afford
to ignore.

One way of doing this is to set up ‘India Immersion Centres’, repositories of information about
the heritage of various regions, and also about the intangible characteristics that we share as a
demographic as well as those that are unique to regions and ethnic
groups. These Centres could work in tandem with Tourism Departments,
and occupy both physical and digital space.
The Centres could bring out high-quality guides in English and other languages, explaining local-
level festivals, fair, feasts and features, underlining how the 29 ‘Indias’, or the States, make one
nation.
We need to have trained personnel at these Centres to explain the driving forces of Indianness.
This will facilitate people from diverse countries to understand and accept how we think, and
therefore, function. This will ease the business path, and ultimately put money into our
exchequer.
At this time when Artificial Intelligence is dazzling the world, but also threatening to
cut people off from human-ness, the India Immersion Centres could help the world stay rooted
by facilitating coaching in Yoga and meditation access to institutions
of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and other indigenous healing systems.
All this will also help our own Millennials understand the rationale behind Indian customs and
rituals, and help preserve our values and traditions for the coming generations.
As a long-standing business-cultural coach, I have a storehouse of information about the general
Indian way of life and mindset, as well as the diversities that go into the fabric of our fabulous
country. I can place it at the disposal of the Government for training purposes.
In summary:
1. Explaining India’s Business-Cultural Heritage link will strengthen FDI.
2. This can be done by setting up India Immersion Centres with trained staff and material on our
ancient wisdom.
3. These repositories of tradition and culture will also help our own Millennials understand the
rationale behind customs and rituals.


3. Mr. Rakesh Mathur 
Former CEO BASS ( IHG ) Hotels, South & West Asia & Former President ITC WelcomHeritage Hotels

FRESH CHALLENGES FOR THE CONSERVATION and  SUSTENANCE  OF BUILT HERITAGE


It is my firm belief that in current times built Heritage can only sustain if it is financially productive. And it is in the interest of not only the future of Tourism, but also the future of the Country that we do everything to preserve our Built Heritage.

Our built Heritage is an integral part of our link to our past, our history, our culture and the very evolution of our Civilisation, and no Society has survived by severing its links to its roots. It is thus in our interest to maintain and preserve our built heritage.

One of the major impediments to Heritage Conservation in our Country is that all key Stakeholders who are involved in Heritage Conservation have not been able to come together on a common platform and evolve a common acceptable philosophy and strategy. Whether it is ASI, or INTACH, or ITRHD, or IHHA. Very often, as a participant in several platforms, I find effort being duplicated or the wheel being re-invented. Unity would bring about a lot of advocacy strength.  

Another matter is the issue of raising more revenues for our monuments to maintain them better. This can only be achieved by creating a unique, wholesome and complete experience for the tourist and also adding value for the discerning customer, thus getting them to pay more. Sound and light, headsets, availability of wholesome non polluting food, etc, all add value. But we continue to grapple with outdated thinking and misconceptions about PPP. 

I may also mention another area where built heritage is suffering. This is in the several very precious Heritage buildings all over the country occupied by the government as offices, courts etc. They are thus deteriorating as there is no emotional bond between occupant and building. Maintenance is poor. Neither are they efficient and ergonomically designed offices, courts, etc, keeping in mind the needs of the evergrowing population. They are mostly centrally located and could be converted to excellent tourism assets, hotels, museums, art and craft galleries etc. They would flourish under PPP mode. But someone has to make a decision to make this happen. 

And this is where all stakeholders in Heritage Conservation have to get together 

Conversion of built Heritage into Hotels for Tourism was a significant step towards this and now plays a key role in maintaining these buildings. 

Our Association has been at the forefront of all efforts to advocate with the Government to support Heritage properties in all ways, ie; subsidies, tax holidays, incentives, etc. It helped in the conservation process to a great extent. However there are several FRESH CHALLENGES which need to be overcome with support from the Government



1. There has been a quantum leap in Sustainable Design and Construction Technology, which has a cascading impact on operating costs. With input costs constantly rising and there being constant pressure on Sales from contemprory competition. Heritage properties are not designed as such, and thus,in order to be profitable, need what I would term as SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY INCORPORATION SUPPORT.  Not only in terms of MATERIAL RESOURCES but also TECHNICAL SKILLED ADVISE. These Skill and material resources are expensive. They need a high level of technical expertise which most Heritage properties can ill afford.

My suggestion is that under the NGT implementation committee, the Government consider setting up a panel of experts who will advise Heritage properties in achieving this objective. 



2. With NGT norms in Hotels being implemented, it has become compulsory for all Hotels to comply with these norms. Most hotels are in rural areas with a lack of skills and infrastructure. Also most are unable to immediately afford modifications required  by NGT. 

My suggestion is that Heritage hotels be supported with a subsidy on cost incurred in complying with NGT norms.



3. Heritage hotels are now recognised as having played a significant role in Indian Tourism. Moreover, Heritage itself is the backbone of Indian Tourism. It is thus regretful that students in Hotel Management Institutes have no appreciation of this important segment of Indian tourism. 

In my opinion it is about time the subject HERITAGE TOURISM was introduced in all HOTEL MANAGEMENT Institutes in India. This will help in generating interest among the young skilled workforce towards specialising in Heritage Tourism and thus solving a long standing issue of shortage of skilled manpower in this segment. 



As times change and things evolve, there are always fresh challenges to be faced and above are some thoughts in that direction


4. Mr. S.K. Misra 
Founder-Chairman of Indian Trust for Rural Heritage and Development.





5. Mr. Abhay Mangaldas 
Executive Committee Member - Indian Heritage Hotels Association


Immersive heritage experiences is the new Pied Piper of Heritage tourism.
Each of us have a ‘shared’ heritage and an ‘individual’ heritage. When one talks about India as a heritage destination, normally you refer to destinations that act as a ‘shared heritage’ venue of that region. I would like to take the stand that the individual heritage is more interesting and provides a deeper engage to the visitor. India can reinvent itself as a heritage destination for the millennial traveller by creating heritage experiences that are curated by individuals around their personal heritage rather than a collective one. The advent of Airbnb subsequent opportunity in home-stays has opened up an entirely new opportunity to showcase individual heritage that cannot happen in tourist busses. It depends on personal engagement and immersive involvement. Just as every 200 kilometers you travel you get a new dialect, similarly, you can get a new heritage experience in every home in every city.


It’s time to review the paradigm. What we consider as mundane routine of our daily life is actually rich fodder of experience for a visitor who is curious to learn how an ancient civilization evolves and carries on. Our dress, food, customs, religion, music, dance, art, theatre and festivals are undersold as tourist experiences. This is where the new opportunity lies and as Heritage Hoteliers, we are in a prime position to show case this and lead in this endeavor.


6. Ms. Shoba Mohan 
Founder Partner - Rare India
Director Communications – SITE India
+9198102 65781

Shoba Mohan (Narayanaswamy) graduated in Zoology and pursued a post-graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication with the intention of concentrating on Science Journalism. School and college life on the eastern coast of India was spent amidst a kaleidoscope of interests ranging from poetry and reading groups, cinema, dance-drama, music and mythology, story-telling, floor-art and volunteering for conservation and marine research. The daughter of an officer of the Indian Railways, she had travelled to almost every state of the Indian subcontinent by the time she was thirty. 
Providence led Shoba Mohan to the arena of travel, married into a family considered to be leaders in bespoke and incentive travel thereafter that became her oyster as she pioneers one of the leading boutique brands – RARE India promoting the largest curated collection of owner run lodges, retreats, palace hotels and glam camps.
When the bug of entrepreneurship wed a lust for unique and extraordinary travel, the result was RARE in 2004 – a representation and marketing company that promoted experiential travel that included a range of hospitality and tourism products – boutique palace hotels, experiential walks, riding programs, off-roading destinations, art for tourism, etc. The products encompassed a variety of interests viz. nature, health and wellness, wildlife, adventure, cuisine, art and history, culture and conservation and above all involved people – passionate, lateral thinkers and doers from various walks of life promoting an ideology and fostering learning. Shoba Mohan’s myriad interests and evolution in travel run parallel to that of RARE, yet writing about issues, nature and conservationcontinue to be areas of personal interest.
RARE India is a collection of some of the finest boutique hotels, palace stays, wildlife life lodges, homestays and retreats of the sub-continent. We believe that ‘Meaning is the new luxury’ and our community is an inclusive list of experiential hotels and hospitality concepts with a quality and style quotient that appeal to the world traveler, believe in working with the community while being personal and high on service. 

Our hotels are often set away from the repetitive and regular routes, aspire to tread softly on the land they are set in and preserve the innocence of the destination. In short, you have a ‘RARE’ collection of hotels and concepts that offer the perfect immersive experience to the evolved traveler. Founded by Shoba Mohan and Sowmya Rao Vijaymohan, RARE India’s list comprises of a unique collection of hotels spanning three countries – India, Nepal & Bhutan, 16 States in India alone and 52 hotel brands.  www.rareindia.com

Here are my basic thoughts :
1. How are we looking at our heritage ? This just can’t be a hotel stay experience.
2. And what do we define as Heritage – in timeline or in the iconic perspective.
3. Heritage to encompass both built heritage, traditions ( as cuisine, festivals and art forms ) and also natural heritage.
‘ A country’s heritage in its entirety is like flowing music yet frozen in time’. And this is a collective responsibility – enforced or otherwise. If we look at promoting our Heritage in an inclusive and deeper fashion, there is a great story to tell the world where the destination which could be a fort or sacred forest will only be the protagonist to be able to tell a larger story. This could be in the form of management of heritage sites and traditions, restoration, citizen involvement etc. On a micro level it has the potential to involve locals and create jobs and economic strength while on a macro level, envisioned well it can create a world-class model for sustaining and promoting heritage. They way heritage is envisioned for the tourism industry is that - it is an island where only the monument is the focus. A good example is that of the Taj Mahal, while the Taj as a pin-up icon for Heritage is great, it has not been able to do anything for Agra as the city nor for other iconic heritage sites around it. Every iconic monument in the country reflects this story. Another example is the Jaisalmer fort, despite repeated and worldwide angst at the plight and pressure on the fort we are unable to evacuate civilians out of the fort and have it shining for posterity. For this every citizen of India should be held responsible, to preserve and protect a national heritage.

A firm policy for an inclusive preservation is the need of the hour where every citizen is made responsible for its preservation. I am sure a classified approach that distinguishes timeline, iconic status, preservation status, visual impact on urban and rural  landscapes and current utility can ensure that the valuable heritage of this great country is preserved. Now from a marketing point of view, Heritage has to be packed to ensure that it is saleable and can creative economic viability for stake holders, subsidies for those involved in . A simple formula that packages an iconic heritage monument, art, music , forest or festival to which we add significant other experiences including the process of conservation, its status and funding possibilities. This will ensure better narratives and distribution. So that Taj is just not about seeing the Taj and checking out over a night’s visit, everything that encompasses the era and the dynasties around including the music that blossomed during the time, other monuments around the same timeline increasing the scope of heritage and giving the same status to other monuments for their heritage value rather than its economic viability will ensure that beautiful monuments will not get the third degree. That said there are many many places where there are such beautiful monuments still awaiting the discerning eye and attention of government support, the great forts of Madhya Pradesh can be cited as examples. Lastly we need a stricter blue print with experts on panel as to what qualifies as conservation, this rather grey domain has seen some iconic monuments losing its charming façade to whimsical conservation efforts. Our Heritage is our biggest strength and can be the beacon for ‘Incredible India’ encompassing several themes yet leading trends, we need will and power !


7. Prof. Dr. Nimit Chowdhary  
Professor and Head 
Department of Tourism, Hotel, Hospitality and Heritage Studies - Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi 

Neo-localism: Is it the way forward?
Key points
1.       Heritage tourism is India’s best bet- India’s USP that will extend sustainable competitive advantage.
2.       We need a supportive institutional framework for it- especially legislation and policy framework
3.       Will also require specialists for handling India’s heritage and tourism especially creatively designing heritage tourism products and selling them.

Tourist destinations are like any other business. In a hyper-competitive market, they seek a competitive advantage. These competitive advantages emerge from a discerned product that the destinations can offer. Seeking a sustained differentiation is, therefore, the key to the competitive advantage of a destination. What can be this differentiated competitive advantage for India? What is that unique product that only India can offer?The answer is simple- “Indian-ness”, the experience of being in India. I have often argued that one of the prime drivers of tourism is the principal of ‘ritual inversion”. Every society conducts itself in a particular manner including the everyday traditional acts prescribed by custom or by ecclesiastic pronouncement. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the ritual is a specific, observable mode of behaviour exhibited by all known societies. Tourist is often excited to have an experience that is alien, non-routine for them. The farther it is from their regular experience the more thrilled they are. This is the principal of ‘ritual inversion’. Every destination has a unique heritage that has shaped from the unique legacy that it has inherited. India as an aggregate of the sub-continent or even as a thousand of differentiated experiences at the micro-level is distinct from the West (Europe and America) or the East (China, Korea, Japan and South Asia) or even Africa and the Middle East. We must sell this uniqueness.
Any tourism products should be considered at two levels- the qualifying factors and the vantage factors. Qualifying factors are the essentials, absence of which will put-off the visitors- the basic amenities- connectivity, hygiene, safety, other conveniences, etc. An over-do will however not fetch any competitive advantages.  Vantage factors behave differently. The absence of vantage factors will render a destination less attractive whereas its presence will attract a large number of visitors to the destination by offering them a distinct differentiated experience. Distinct Indian culture and heritage is the vantage factor for Indian tourism. Safety, security, hygiene, cleanliness and other conveniences will not attract customers to us, but their absence will scare them away. Whereas our unique heritage will go a long way in attracting tourists of different segments. Different segments of visitors seek to understand and internalize an “Indian experience” in different ways. The success of India tourism lies in our ability to creatively pack, present and dispense Indian heritage for the visitors.
India is an emerging tourist destination. While we need to adapt and adopt global standards of tourist service quality, we need to guard against the homogenization of place and culture due to transformative influences of globalization (Schnell 2013). Neolocalism has emerged as a response to this acculturate. India is also witnessing what Shortridge (1996, p.10) observed in America- a conscious reaching out for heritage and cultural symbolism as a delayed reaction to the blurring of Indian ethos as a result of globalization. Indians are reinventing their fairs and fests as a powerful statement of their cultural heritage. They often associate celebrations with built heritage (e.g. Taj Mahotsav), as a tangible manifestation of culture. It is increasingly being realized that different facets of Indian heritage have resonated with the imagination of the visitors. A large number of visitors are seeking experiences ranging from spiritualism, yoga, Ayurveda, food, folklore, festivals, etc. besides niche luxury heritage, rurality, and shopping!
Thus, neo-localism is the chase of a sense of place through revival and restoration of cyphers of heritage. In India, we need to attempt to reassert the “distinctively local” elements of our offers to the tourists as against westernized or global experiences which are devoid of the unique. Today, we cannot afford to underestimate the potential of neo-localism in mediating globalization for our tourism offers.
So how do we go ahead with that?
Strategy and policy
1.       Heritage could be the mainstay of our tourism strategy- luxury, rural, and other product segments
2.       Policy for utilization of heritage for tourism (for example)
a.       Legislation for adaptive reuse of heritage assets
b.      Permits for driving vintage vehicles
3.       Recognising tourism as an instrument for rural development.
Product development
4.       Research in/ documentation of the regional cuisines and lost recipes.
5.       Documentation and research in vernacular architecture/ architectural nuances
Marketing
6.       Decentralization of brand Incredible India”
7.       Exclusive campaign for rural tourism in India
8.       Showcasing culture and heritage online and through dedicated museums
9.       Developing staged products like modern hotels and resorts with vernacular themes
Internal destination development
10.   Rural ‘Abadi’ area planning
11.   Capacity building in restoration and capacity building
12.   Capacity building for heritage presentation and selling skills.
13.   Capacity building for developing creative heritage tourism products.
14.   Capacity building for storytelling and interpretation 

8. Mr. Dipak Deva 
Managing Director, SITA World Tours

9. Mr. Sanjeeth - 


10. Mr. Bandip - 


11. Mr Sujit Banarjee 
Secretary General, WTTC, India Initiative 
He has served the Government of India in various capacities in his career as an Officer of the IndianAdministrative Service. In his career, he has served as Secretary, Central Vigilance Commission, Secretary & Chairperson of National Authority, Chemical Weapons Convention. He retired as Union Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Tourism. He headed a Committee constituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests to formulate guidelines for forest and wildlife eco-tourism in the country. He has served as Member on the Ethics Committee of Standing Conference of Public Enterprises, as Chairman, Advisory Committee on World Heritage Matters, Ministry of Culture, as a Part-time Non-official Director on the Board of SAIL and as Chairman, Committee for National Heritage Sites under the aegis of Ministry of Culture. Currently he is serving as the Secretary General, WTTC India Initiative. 

Brief Synopsis :
1. To begin with Heritage Sites in India are of three kinds; those protected by the Central Government through the Ancient Monuments Archaeological Sites & Remains Act (AMASR Act); those that are protected by the respective State Governments through respective Acts (most of which are modelled on the AMASR Act); and those that have no protection at all.
2. The proportion of protected heritage sites to that of unprotected could be 1:4 or even higher.
3. The Budgetary Allocation for Ministry of Culture is Rs. 2843.32 Crores and that for ASI is Rs. 974.56 Crores. Even for the 3650 plus monuments that are protected under the AMASR Act and under the care of ASI, this will translate into mere 26.70 Lakhs per protected monument/ site. While a uniform distribution may be incorrect and irrational, it does indicate how ridiculous the situation is. It is also very telling as to what importance we want to give to our heritage.
4. From the allocated field staff (watch and ward) strength of around 3500, more than 2000 are vacant! The Amendments to AMASR Act and the creation of National Monuments Authority necessitated strengthening of ASI including additional staff for monitoring – sadly nothing has been done.
5. Our Wonder of the World, Taj Mahal is under the care of a Conservation Assistant!! A site like that in China would have had a full Directorate!
6. The story of State Archaeology Departments with regard to Budget, staffing and monitoring is only worse.
7. The recent amendments suggested (further to those of 2010) will only embolden further misuse and encroachment, all in the name of development and infrastructure up gradation. 
8. The problems are a plenty for all Heritage Sites in Urban areas. The ever increasing population puts immense pressure on the monument and its precincts and slowly they shrink and even lose integrity with vandalism and theft. The lack of staff easily aiding any such attempt.
9. Those in remote areas survive since, as yet, there is no developmental onslaught but suffer due to neglect since lack of resources does not allow either the ASI or State Archaeology to attend to their problems.
10. For those thousands of sites which remain unprotected, they are simply at the mercy of nature and God almighty!
11 We have been talking of tourism and the potential of Heritage Sites attracting tourism for a very long time. However, it is a fact that Tourism and Heritage Sites Management have never functioned in an organised and synchronised way.  Agra is a prime example that gets people visiting only because of Taj as its attraction. However, have we capitalised on the full potential? Certainly not! Multiple agencies in decision making, pulls and pressures of local groups, lack of clarity, unending legal hurdles will perhaps, never allow us to do so.
12 The greatest problem that we have is each Heritage Site is dealt with as a standalone entity most of the time and a comprehensive view, that will help develop the site holistically with its surroundings, irrespective of whether it is in a urban, semi-urban, rural or remote setting, is lacking.

1. NOW, WILL THIS IMPACT THE FUTURE OF INDIAN TOURISM? DID IT EVER?
Yes, it can impact the future of tourism but only in a positive way since it is absolutely clear that we have not realised the full potential of what our Heritage Sites can provide to tourism. Having said that, the tourism industry is not dependent only on Heritage sites as attractions. There are many more facets be it nature tourism, medical tourism and others. However, we need to start thinking differently.
An example – Raigad Development Authority (RDA) has recently been formed for undertaking the conservation and development of Raigad Fort (capital of Shivaji Maharaj) and the larger Heritage Precinct. 
Now, Raigad Fort can be standalone attraction, since as the erstwhile capital of Shivaji Maharaj, it is a revered site for millions of Marathas. The Fort is also a part of many forts linked with the legacy of the Maratha Warrior. [Maharashtra’s Western Coast has more than 350 Forts!] There are Hill Forts, Land Forts and Sea Forts. Raigad Fort is also in the midst of reserve forests. There are 21 villages around Raigad Hill that sustained the capital. These villages still exist! Additionally the Master Plan envisages establishment of a Maratha Research Centre, a centre for research and learning. The Sahyadri Range, wherein lies the Raigad Hill, is a part of the Western Ghats which is a recognized World Heritage as a natural site. Thus the suggestion is for something like Raigad PLUS.
The suggestions for tourism, therefore, are as follows:
1. Raigad as a Stand Alone Destination (Heritage Tourism) 
2. Raigad As a Part of the Fort Circuit Tourism of Maharashtra
3. Raigad as a part of a Trekking Circuit that includes forts and the Western Ghats – a World Heritage Natural Site
4. Raigad As a Part of Cruise Tourism of Maharashtra/ Government of India
5. Raigad as a Conference/ Convention/ Conclave Destination
6. Rural Tourism – to benefit the 21 villages
7. Monsoon Tourism combined with Rural Tourism
Can tourism departments, both of the Centre and State, coordinate to make this a success and reap the benefits from a comprehensive policy? Similarly for so many sites.

2. ARE WE CURRENTLY LOSING THE HERITAGE AURA?
Well the age of ‘discovery’ is perhaps over. However, enquiry will always be there. A lot of work will be required to retain the Aura, if one may call it so. This should fundamentally come from within us – as people and nation. An average French child, by the time he or she is 10, has visited a number of museums within their country and many of them many times over! They are always escorted and informed by their parents while the Schools include imparting knowledge on heritage as an integral part of the teaching. So every child not only knows their heritage but is immensely proud of it. Protecting it comes naturally to them. Can we not do something similar? Children in our country have taken a great initiative for not bursting crackers during Deepavali. Why not turn their attention to Heritage?
When children do, then probably we adults will start to value our heritage before it is too late!

3. ARE WE TAKING OUR HERITAGE FOR GRANTED OR ARE WE STILL HOLDING IT TOGETHER?
I presume it is easy to say that we are taking it for granted. If we do not even allocate adequate resources to look after even those that are officially recognised, we are certainly taking it for granted! Perhaps, the more important question is will our heritage remain or will it get obliterated. In some countries Heritage sites have been destroyed violently. We may be doing the same by ignoring the slow decay and demise.
In our own lifetimes we have visited Taj Mahal, Qutb Minar, Hampi, Konarak etc so many times both as youngsters and as adults. One does not have to be a great observer to see what a tremendous decline that has taken place. And we are not even able to convey the history and significance of the site to our children, who would most probably be taking selfies, posting the photos on Instagram etc and wanting to eat the street food that is being offered at the site! 
So, are we holding our heritage together? I will leave the question for you to answer.

4. WHERE DID WE FAIL IN OUR HERITAGE PRESERVATION/CONSERVATION AND PROMOTION?
The tradition of preservation and conservation is well ingrained in us. So where did we go wrong? Look at our living temples – A Kumbabhishekam is performed every 12 years. So every twelve years we have a renewal and maintenance helping the process of preservation and conservation. How does that happen? Simple answer is that people ‘belong’ to the temples. The sense of belonging is rarely seen with other heritage.
On a more realistic level, ASI, an organization with more than 150 years of existence, had led the way and provided directions on physical conservation and preservation. For a long while this emanated from their immense strength – Archaeology. An officer in the ASI used to be a de-facto Scholar par excellence. Not anymore. What are the reasons?
I, personally, feel that the Government’s decision to allow IAS officers to head the ASI is unwise. IAS officers, trained in the long stints at various districts/ collectorates sought to assess performance by asking each Circle (headed by a Superintending Archaeologist - SA) how much of the allocated budget had they spent. Soon the SAs learnt that all that they had to do was spend the money. So from the painstaking archaeological and conservation work, attention shifted to construction of compound walls, paving, white washing etc. ..and, so the start of the decline in scholarship or traditional conservation.

5. ARE WE CARRYING THE INTANGIBLE ALONG WITH MONUMENTAL AND NATURAL HERITAGE?
As regards intangible heritage we need to understand that it is (was) closely linked with our oral traditions. Did you know that the Kathakali dancers squeeze drops from a white flower into their eye and the eye remains red for the duration of the performance and it does not cause any harm. Is this codified? I seriously doubt. Similarly so many of our rich oral traditions remain unknown.
So it is obvious that if serious efforts are not made to identify and create methods for conserving the intangible, we will lose them forever.

6. ARE CURRENT PLANS ADDRESSING THE ISSUE?
I am aware that the ASI had put out a Conservation Policy but to the best of my knowledge we do not have any National Policy on Conservation of the Tangible and Intangible Heritage. We have made some efforts but they are all in bits and pieces. Often, the intangible is treated independent of the tangible.

7. HOW DID OTHER COUNTRIES ADDRESS THE ISSUE?
There are countries and there are countries. The resources rich Western Nations could actually “define” what is heritage based on their convenience, and thereafter decide how to conserve and preserve. But we have a complex problem. We are in effect as good as several nations put together given our variety and diversity. Therefore, taking the example of some other nation may not be very apt. Our heritage is our heritage. We need to define how we protect it. Period.

12. Mr. Ratish Nanda
(awaiting information)


"As General Secretary of IHHA, I take immense pleasure in executing this event. IHHA President HH Gajsingh II, Maharaja of Jodhpur takes keen interest in this event and its success. I frankly think, IHHA will adorn a new appropriate hat after this event in trying to protect, preserve and promote India as a Heritage Destination. I call upon all members of IHHA to work towards its direction. In fact, we need to come together as a country. Let us learn from countries like Singapore, France, Australia, et al".
Mr. Randhir Vikram Singh 
General Secretary - IHHA



    For Further Details, contact :

    Mr. Randhir Vikram Singh 
    General Secretary - IHHA
    Mandawa Haveli,
    Sansar Chandra Road,
    Jaipur - 302001
    Ph : 0141 - 2371194/2374112
    Mob : 09829018787
    Email : randhir@castlemandawa.com
 
    Mr. Rajendra Singh Pachar
    Convention Chairman 
    info@harimahalpalace.com
     9829051297
    
    Mr. Steve Borgia
    Conference Chairman
    steve@indecohotels.com
    08754419619/09444414369

    Mr. Kapil 
    Administrator
    info@indianheritagehotels.com
    09928018294

    Mr. Santosh
    Blog Administrator & Conference Logistics Co-ordinator
    ho@indecohotels.com
    09600057031
     

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