Taking forward its commitment to boost sustainable tourism by offering unique experiences in India, Airbnb recently announced its collaboration with Sahapedia for its third edition of the award-winning, multi-city, India Heritage Walk Festival (IHWF) – an initiative to celebrating India’s diverse cultural heritage and making it accessible to all. The festival will take place for the entire month of February 2020, offering experiences across 44 different cities in India.
Airbnb partnered with Sahapedia and UNESCO as the Festival’s responsible tourism partner for this edition. To highlight Indian culture, its heritage, and local crafts, Sahapedia will curate exclusive experiences with Airbnb at 8 iconic monuments identified by the Ministry of Tourism including Qutub Minar Complex, Humayun’s Tomb, Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Hampi, Khajuraho group of temples along with Amer fort.
Commenting on the partnership with Sahapedia, Amanpreet Bajaj, Country Manager, Airbnb India, opined: “Airbnb welcomes millions of guests across the globe and the one aspect that remains constant among travellers is their desire to experience the local art and culture. That said, our goal has always been to enable such experiences and help travellers discover cultural aspects that are truly reflective of that city or country. We are very excited to collaborate with Sahapedia that has been at the forefront of preserving India’s cultural heritage through unique activities. As the responsible tourism partner for Sahapedia’s India Heritage Walk Festival, we look forward to highlighting a series of educational experiences and encourage travellers to engage with our local heritage especially at the Iconic monuments identified by the Tourism Ministry.”
Sharing his observations on the festival, Vaibhav Chauhan, Festival Director (IHWF) and Secretary, Sahapedia, stated: “The focus this year has been to encourage and increase different forms of engagement with interesting and important heritage spaces, while also ensuring that these spaces are made accessible to various audience groups. These efforts have also been specially directed towards those groups for whom engagement programmes in heritage spaces are commonly unavailable, such as children, the differently-abled, and those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. We have also curated special walks and events with specific user groups in mind, such as students, travellers, local residents, and professional groups such as photographers, conservationists, and so on.”
“UNESCO is pleased to be associated with the India Heritage Walk Festival 2020. The Festival is a great opportunity to explore cultural experiences beyond the popular. Such efforts help create wider awareness about heritage, which in turn leads to increased sensitivities to protect and support it,” commented Eric Falt, Director and UNESCO Representative to Bhutan, India, the Maldives and Sri Lanka.
Ranging from museums, explorations of interesting natural landscapes and areas known for their rich cuisine, historically significant monuments and markets, to gender-oriented narratives, the programme this year will be curated thematically across ten central themes including Knowledge Traditions, Visual and Material Arts, Performing Arts, Literature and Languages, Histories, Practices and Rituals, People, Institutions, Built Spaces and Natural Environment.