Gujarat: Historical forts, palaces, and monuments to be converted into heritage hotels and museums

Gujarat: Historical forts, palaces, and monuments to be converted into heritage hotels and museums

In a move to boost both international as well as domestic tourism, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has announced Heritage Tourism Policy 2020-2025. Launching the first-of-its-kind Heritage Tourism Policy, the Gujarat state government has now allowed monuments, forts and palaces that were built before January 1, 1950, to be converted into heritage hotels, banquet halls, museums, and restaurants. As per the government, this move will enable domestic and international to witness and experience historic structures from close quarters.

The move comes at a time when the entire tourism industry is grappling to stay afloat in business during this difficult phase of COVID-19 pandemic.

As per the new Heritage Tourism Policy, an existing heritage hotel or a new one will get financial assistance of INR 5-10 crore for expansion and renovation. However, the policy underlines that during this process, the basic heritage structure should not undergo any alteration. The state government will be providing a 20 per cent subsidy, i.e., a maximum of INR 5 crore, if the investment made is up to INR 25 crore. However, if the investments are over INR 25 crore, then the maximum subsidy would go up to INR 10 crore.

As such, to start a new banquet hall, heritage museum, or a restaurant, or to restore or renovate an existing one, financial assistance of up to INR 45 lakh to INR 1 crore will be provided by the government. Reportedly, the said financial assistance will be provided at a 7 percent interest for five years, which will not exceed INR 30 lakh in a year.

During these five years, the state government will provide marketing support, give 100 per cent relief in electricity duty, as well as rent assistance for events. As per the Gujarat state government, this step will promote tourism in the region and also create jobs.

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