Message of the President, IHHA
our e-newsletter for better
communication and information sharing
I have great pleasure in sending this message on the occasion of our first quarter e-newsletter of the Indian Heritage Hotels Association. E-newsletters today have a vital role to play in terms of quick dissemination of information, news and even features and articles. Furthermore, an e-newsletter means a saving of paper, postage, printing and does not even require physical storage.
Friends, there is a sense of euphoria over our much neglected sector of tourism, vital for the economy of the country. Our Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi, for the very first time, stated in categorical terms from the ramparts of the Red Fort that promotion of tourism will get high priority in the country. This will, I am sure, give a big boost to heritage tourism as well.
Rajasthan, as you are all aware, has the maximum number of heritage properties. It is gratifying that the new State Government is sensitive to the needs of our properties and have initiated a series of steps which will stand us in good stead.
For instance, the Suraaj Sankalp Document has now become the Policy Document for the State Government. It also has a provision for providing incentives to heritage hotels. Furthermore, in the recent budget, VAT on Food for the Heritage Basic category has been reduced to 5%. Heritage hotels will also be entitled to get 50% Luxury Tax rebate in the lean tourist months from April to July like other hotels.
The State Government has also decided that all heritage hotels registered with Tourism department will be directly eligible to become training partners under Employment Linked Skill Training Programme (ELSTP) subject to availability of infrastructure as per the guidelines of the Rajasthan Skill and Livelihoods Development Corporation (RSLDC). As training partners, managements of the respective Heritage hotels would be required to set up training centres within the hotel premises using existing / additional infrastructure for the selected courses. This will give a boost to employment in rural areas where most of the heritage hotels are located. Our Association also stands committed to promote rural tourism as well as identify new circuits for handicrafts. Both these decisions will go a long way in giving a fillip to the heritage movement.
I would urge other states to also take a cue from the recent decisions of the Rajasthan Government so that the heritage hotel movement gets stronger in the other parts of the country as well. In fact, the UP Government at the initiative of your association has recently declared a separate policy for the heritage hotels.
I hope the delegates at the 13th Annual General Meeting and the 3rd Annual Convention will engage in fruitful networking and business interaction.
I invite you to please send your suggestions, experiences & pertinent anecdotes for the newsletter. Let's make it an interactive instrument for strengthening our movement.
With best wishes,
H.H. Gajsingh II
Maharaja of Marwar-Jodhpur