How India’s tangible heritage is redistributing tourism, ET TravelWorld
5 mins read

How India’s tangible heritage is redistributing tourism, ET TravelWorld

Four city heritage sites in Lucknow to turn into destination tourism spots.

In the vast mosaic of global travel destinations, India stands out, not merely as a place to visit, but as an experience to be cherished. The country’s tangible heritage, ranging from the royal palaces of Rajasthan to the ancient temples of South India, offers an immersive journey through time to guests from around the world. India’s preserved heritage is not just an attraction, it’s an agent of transformation, playing a pivotal role in redistributing tourism across its vast terrain.

Heritage beyond hotspots
Most international travellers have long been acquainted with the allure of the Taj Mahal, Jaipur’s Amber Fort or Goa’s pristine beaches. However, India’s rich heritage tapestry extends far beyond these iconic landmarks. Lesser known treasures such as the historical ruins of Hampi, the ancient Sun Temple of Konark, hold equal charm. By spotlighting such lesser known destinations, we are noticing a shift in how people are travelling. Travellers are seeking a deeper, more authentic and immersive experience, leading to a broader dispersion of tourism across the country.

World Tourism Day 2023: Sustainability should be imperative, not an option

As the world gears up to celebrate World Tourism Day, the global tourism sector is poised for a grand convergence, uniting under the theme of “Tourism and Green Investments”. The industry stakeholders and experts we reached out to, advocated the need to have a collective and coordinated approach involving governments, businesses, and stakeholders, besides, the need to have more local community involvement.

Community led travel
When travellers opt for homestays in lesser known destinations, they are directly contributing to the local economies. This trend, facilitated by platforms like Airbnb, has the dual effect of alleviating over tourism in traditional hotspots. India’s tangible heritage, scattered across its vast landscape, acts as a magnet for such redistributed tourism.Local tales and historical sketches
Every monument, site, traditional art or craft in India has a story. Often the best narrators of these tales are the local communities that have been their custodians for centuries. Hosts across India have been instrumental in not just providing a place to stay, but also sharing these stories with the guests, ensuring that the travellers experience a more profound personal connection with the places they visit.

The intersection of technology and heritage
In today’s digital age, technology plays an undeniable role in shaping travel choices. As more travellers rely on online platforms to plan their travel journeys, there’s an opportunity to highlight India’s diverse heritage offerings to guests from all over the world. Online experiences hosted by locals, augmented reality experiences and interactive digital platforms can make heritage travel more accessible and appealing.

550 monuments to be adopted by private sector for tourism promotion: Karnataka Minister HK Patil

The minister unveiled a government plan to protect, conserve, and develop nearly 550 monuments available for ‘adoption’. “These monuments, which include temples, churches, mosques, and other heritage sites, will be opened for tourism, creating opportunities for investment and employment generation. The innovative programme is set to launch on September 25,” an official statement said.

A responsible approach
India’s emphasis on preserving its tangible heritage goes hand in hand with responsible tourism. By promoting off-the-beaten-path destinations, we can ensure more equitable tourism growth, alleviating pressure on more popular sites and distributing economic benefits more widely.

India’s tangible heritage isn’t just a static display of the past, it’s a dynamic force driving the future of tourism. At Airbnb, we are privileged to play a part in this journey, connecting travellers to local authentic experiences and, in the process reshaping the contours of Indian tourism. The beauty of India’s tangible heritage lies not just in its intrinsic value, but also in its potential to forge a bright and more responsible future for all.

Recently, Airbnb signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India to showcase India as a rich cultural and heritage tourism destination on a global scale. One of the focal points of this collaboration is to shed light on the heritage homes across India. These historical and architecturally significant properties listed on Airbnb, that are hosted by the local families and Hosts, offer an authentic and immersive experience for travellers seeking to delve deeper into India’s cultural heritage.

The author is General Manager, India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Airbnb

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and does not necessarily subscribe to it. shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.

  • Published On Sep 27, 2023 at 02:00 PM IST

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