Gujarat announces its first heritage tourism policy

rani ki vav
UNESCO world heritage Queen's stepwell or 'rani ki vav' | Photo: chetansoni/Shutterstock.com
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Gandhinagar: Opening up ancient palaces, forts, and other heritage monuments for international and national visitors to boost the tourism sector, the Gujarat government on Friday announced the state's first heritage tourism policy.

The new policy, which will provide an opportunity for the tourists to enjoy and experience a stay in the historical monuments of the state, is also expected to boost the local employment and the state tourism industry.

The Gujarat Chief Minister, Vijay Rupani announced the state's first heritage tourism policy, which was given the final touch during the high-level meeting held earlier Friday. According to the policy, historical monuments, palaces, forts, and structures constructed before January 1950 in the state, could be converted into hotels, heritage museums, banquet halls, and heritage restaurants.

The policy is believed to not only provide the tourists with an experience of staying at the ancient historical and heritage sites and monuments, but it will also open up a new window for job opportunities for the local people. The policy also envisages the utilisation of unused ancient and heritage structures while adding attraction in Gujarat tourism.

The state government will provide aid of Rs 5 to 10 crores to new or existing heritage hotels for renovation and expansion. According to the policy provisions, the developers will be provided aid of Rs 45 lakh to Rs one crore, to start new or restore an existing heritage museum, heritage banquet hall, and heritage restaurant. The restoration or expansion work should be done without altering or damaging the existing original structure.

The state government believes that the new policy will place Gujarat on the world heritage tourism map where international tourists will not only be able to enjoy at the sites like Rani ki Vaav, Champaner or Ahmedabad walled city, all world heritage sites but also enjoy a stay at ancient palaces, forts owned by kings and other ancient monuments. This move will develop the tourism sector in Gujarat and add up in the resource building of earning foreign currency.

Gujarat is a state rich with many ancient city ruins, palaces, forts, tombs, beautiful step-wells, and temples. It is also home to the archaeological sites of the Indus Valley Civilization like Lothal, sacred summits of Jainism, Buddhism, and others.

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