Home Featured Number of heritage assets in India require immediate attention: Radha Bhatia
Number of heritage assets in India require immediate attention: Radha Bhatia
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Number of heritage assets in India require immediate attention: Radha Bhatia

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Radha Bhatia, Chairperson – Tourism Committee, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI), said that the ancient past of India has ensured that the present and subsequent generations have abundant of historical and cultural inheritance to be proud of.

“The restoration efforts to safeguard valuable heritage assets at government’s end in association with various agencies and organisations are visible at places of historic significance. However, there are so many places which still stand apart and require immediate attention. Preserving India’s cultural heritage for the enrichment and education of present and future generations is crucial,” she said on the sidelines of 8th India Heritage Tourism Conclave.

The event was organised by PHDCCI in support with Ministry of Tourism, Government of India under the theme ‘Sustainable Tourism Management at World Heritage Sites’ on March 27, 2019, at WelcomHotel The Savoy, Mussoorie in Uttarakhand. The conclave was attended by over 150 delegates.

While setting the theme of the conclave, Rajan Sehgal, Co-Chairman – Tourism Committee, PHDCCI, said, “India’s World Heritage Tourism Sites have an added advantage for attracting international tourists. Nearly 85% of all visitors to India visit one or the other heritage sites of the country in their course of the vacation. Also, tourism in India has shown a phenomenal growth in the past decade and is expected to emerge as the most important revenue earner for India in the years to come.”

Heritage tourism in India with 37 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and numerous other natural sites has immense potential that need repeat visits to cover all of them. The challenges are very demanding keeping in mind conservation and environmental protection. ‘Adopt a Heritage Scheme’ by Ministry of Tourism and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is one of the best practices to showcase our monuments and drive sustainable growth.

Sandeep Sahni, President, Hotels & Restaurants Association of Uttarakhand; Ganesh Saili, Indian Author; Manish Chheda, Managing Director, Auctus Advisors; Anil Bhandari, Chairman, A B Smart Concepts; Bhavna Saxena (IPS), Special Commissioner, Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board; Vinod Zutshi (IAS Retd.), Former Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India; Kulmeet Makkar, CEO, Producers Guild of India; Sumit Kumar Agarwal, Secretary General, Tribal India Chamber of Trade Agriculture and Commerce; Pronab Sarkar, President, Indian Association of Tour Operators; Dr. Lokesh Ohri, Convenor– Dehradun Chapter, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage; and Virendra Kalra, Chairman– Uttarakhand Chapter, PHDCCI during the panel discussion

The panel on ‘Creating a Sustainable Ecosystem for promotion of Heritage Tourism’ highlighted that the need of the hour is to have a clear vision and a well-defined execution plan with the goal of sustainable development that provides conservation and growth, clean air, water, energy and heritage at large. Technology, documentation, capacity building and regulation are the way to go for sustainable development of heritage tourism.

PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the event’s Knowledge Partner- Auctus Advisors jointly released a Knowledge Report titled ‘Sustainable Heritage Tourism in India’. The report gives a holistic view on heritage tourism across the world and in the country. The report says that while growth in Indian tourism needs to be aggressively taken up, the sustainability dimension of tourism also needs to be viewed with equal importance.

Indian Author Ruskin Bond, Travel Writer Bill Aitken and Dinraj Pratap Singh, Owner, Kasmanda Palace were felicitated during the conclave.