Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Heritage homestays to debut in Bidar

Source: the Hindu :-

Visitors to Bidar will soon be able to stay in heritage houses within walking distance of national monuments or pilgrimage centres and enjoy the hospitality of the family. This is part of the government’s plan to promote heritage homestays in the historic city.

The process that started in 2011 seems to have culminated now. Resource persons of the Indian Heritage Cities Network have mapped around 350 heritage houses, mostly in the public enclosure outside the fort’s main gate. The unique features of these houses were registered in the Bidar Heritage City Development Plan. The first workshop on heritage houses was held in 2012 in which Debashish Nayak, Director, Centre for Heritage Management, Ahmedabad University, spoke to officials and NGO representatives.

In the next phase, the district administration plans to expose the owners of these houses to the concept of heritage homestays. Those interested will be trained in sprucing up the houses and treating guests.

“Promoting homestays is a very interesting way of developing tourism as it engages the common man in the development of the city,” Anurag Tewari, Deputy Commissioner, told The Hindu . It brings in revenue to the people directly and creates jobs. More importantly, it builds cultural relationships between the guest and the host, he said.

“First, we need to sell the idea to the house owners so that they are willing partners in the initiative,” he said. Another parallel task would be to involve tour operators and tourism promoting agencies. This is to ensure that while we create facilities for tourists, we should also make sure that the number of tourists visiting the city increases, Mr. Tewari said. He was confident that his experience as the Deputy Commissioner of Kodagu would help him in promoting the concept in Bidar.

Tourism Department officials said they were in touch with tour operators. A meeting of the operators from Bengaluru, Hyderabad and other nearby cities would be organised soon, they said. “We will be happy if we can turn at least 10 per cent of the 350 heritage houses in Bidar city into homestays,” said Kishor Joshi, Assistant Director, Tourism.

Govt. to promote 350 such houses to develop tourism in Bidar city

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