According to news reports, WelcomHeritage, a joint venture between ITC Ltd. and Jodhana Heritage, plans to open nature-based resorts in South India and heritage hotels in Gujarat. Speaking about the potential of the region and the state, Sunil Sikka, Head – Marketing & Business Development, WelcomHeritage, said, “With its natural beauty, South India has immense potential for the development of nature-based resorts. The region receives a good number of tourists from North India. Gujarat, on the other hand, has a lot of heritage buildings, including palaces and forts. This makes it an ideal location for heritage hotels.”
Talking about the potential of the Indian market with regard to the heritage hotels segment, Sikka said, “We have seen that every year, more and more clients from India are interested in heritage hotel properties. One of the interesting aspects of heritage properties is that clients stay in a room that was once used by the royalty. Clients use the same bed and experience the same ambience that kings and queens had.”
Presently, there are 40 properties under WelcomHeritage, with the majority located in Rajasthan (14) and other parts of North India. The group will unveil ten hotels by the end of this year. It will soon unveil a property each in Pench and Bandhavgarh in Madhya Pradesh, and one in Kathmandu, Nepal, informed Sikka.
Commenting on tourism in India, Sikka said that the country’s immense potential has not been tapped properly. “Foreign tourists to India get turned off by the traffic jam, touts and harassment they experience. This makes the country not so tourist-friendly. Therefore, Indians should keep in mind the slogan, ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’, for making the country tourist-friendly.”
The report further stated that recently, WelcomHeritage had organised a get-together in the Capital, which was attended by stakeholders of WelcomHeritage from Rajasthan, and the travel trade from Delhi and NCR. “The objective of the get-together was to facilitate the stakeholders to meet key travel trade members. The group is planning to organise similar events in Delhi before winter this year for stakeholders from other parts of the country.”