Rajasthan will soon make a multi-pronged marketing effort of the tourism sector. The prime objective of this proactive endeavour is to position Rajasthan as the most preferred tourism destination not only in India but in the entire Asia. This was stated today by the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Smt. Vasundhara Raje at the inauguration of the 4th Annual Convention of the Indian Heritage Hotels Association (IHHA) at Ranthambore. She said that the huge potential of the tourism sector had not been aptly exploited. And now the professional marketing efforts in projecting the strengths and the USP of the State will hopefully bring about a change. The Chief Minister said that she recognised the potential of the heritage hotel movement and the peculiar problems that are faced by such properties. In the recently announced Tourism Unit Policy 2015 a lot of benefits have been provided to the heritage hotels. These relate to the Urban Development Tax being now charged at residential rates on their covered area but will not be charged on their open area. For existing Heritage properties and Existing Heritage Hotels in urban and rural areas there will be no Conversion charges. And Heritage Hotels will be permitted to convert 1000 sq. mtr or 10 per cent of plinth area, (whichever is less) for commercial use, among others. She said that the new tourism policy was in the offing and invited suggestions to make it investor and tourist friendly.
Earlier, in her presence a MOU was signed between the President of IHHA, Maharaja Gaj Singh of Jodhpur and the CEO of Tourism and Hospitality Skill Council (THSC), Mr. Praveen Roy for the employment of THSC trained staff at IHHA member properties. Earlier Mr. Roy also gave a presentation on ‘Setting Up Training Institute in Consultation with NSDC’. The Chief Minister also inaugurated the Exhibition at the Nahargarh Palace of the heritage hotel related utility products. She also released the Coffee Table Book on the heritage hotels. In his address, President of IHHA, Maharaja Gaj Singh of Jodhpur said that the need for a National Policy on Heritage Tourism was paramount. He appealed to the Chief Minister to consider taking this up on a priority basis at the national level. Once there was a National Policy in place the States too would follow suit and the heritage hotel movement would become that much more effective as well as proactive. The Rajasthan Tourism Minister for State, Krishnendra Kaur (Deepa); Chairman Parliamentary Committee of Tourism, KD Singh; the Principal Secretary Tourism, SK Agarwal were also present on the occasion. The Vice President, Suresh Talera, the Secretary General, Randhir Vikram Singh Mandawa of IHHA respectively also expressed their views on the occasion. The programme was moderated by the Executive Member of IHHA, Rakesh Mathur.