IHHA conducts annual convention in Jaisalmer

The Indian Heritage Hotels Association (IHHA) conducted its 6th Annual Convention this time in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. The Convention was held from September 2-3, 2017, at Hotel Suryagarh in Jaisalmer. With an aim of trying to revive the rich, cultural, historical and architectural heritage of India IHHA 2017 saw the participation of several heritage hoteliers. The Association which was formed with only 14 members has now reached a whopping 198 members in 2017, with members spread over different parts of the country. This year’s theme – ‘Harnessing Heritage to Tourism Advantage’ also focused on reviving the traditional art, culture music and to provide local artisans opportunities to practice their craft.
The convention was inaugurated on September 2 by the Minister of State for Tourism, Government of Rajasthan, Krishnendra Kaur along with other dignitaries by lighting the traditional lamp. The session was headed by IHHA President, Maharaja Gajsingh of Jodhpur. The panel saw the participation of Deputy Speaker, Rajasthan Legislative Assembly, Rao Rajendra Singh; Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism, Government of Rajasthan, NC Goel; Vice President of IHHA, Jose Dominic; Principal Secretary Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Government of Punjab, Jaspal Singh; Member of Parliament, Yuvraj Sambhiraje Chattrapti and Joint Managing Director of Maharashtra Tourism, Ashutosh Rathore.
The session witnessed discussions on several topics such as – India’s large young workforce, as its strength; promoting the art and culture of special regions and generating employment; framing a National policy on heritage tourism and promoting wellness tourism. The session was moderated by Mr. Rakesh Mathur. The vote of thanks was given by the Honorary General Secretary of IHHA, Randhir Vikram Singh.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje attended the heritage hotels convention on September 3 at Suryagarh in Jaisalmer. She spoke about the realization by both the Centre and the States of tourism as a key economy driver in the near future. Referring to the GST demands of the travel trade, the Chief Minister also said that she would take up the issues relating to GST with the concerned authorities at the Centre. She said that on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Rajasthan, she informed, that the State was developing Rs. 15,000 crores worth of road network in next 18 months. She also emphasised on the need to increase 2.5% GDP of the State in the tourism sector in Rajasthan. Also on the occasion, Maharaja Gaj Singh of Jodhpur highlighted the high rate of taxation for which the country was losing travel business to the neighbouring countries.
During the occasion, the 3rd Coffee Table book of IHHA was also released. the Annual General Meeting of IHHA was also held on the same day.
Several B2B Meetings were held between RATO Members and hoteliers for the first time. In fact, the RATO organised a visit of the tour operators to different heritage properties within the State. The 4 day visit also included attending the IHHA session at Jaisalmer where they had effective networking with the hotel owners.