On Monday 25 November, 2019, a stakeholder meeting was successfully concluded for a project to create an Integrated Site Management plan for the sustainable tourism management of Gurdwara Rorhi Sahib, Eminabad, District Gujranwala, and Gurdwara Sacha Sauda Sahib, Farooqabad, District Sheikhupura. The project of stems from the UNESCO sub-project of “Protection and Promotion of Cultural Heritage of Punjab through Sustainable Tourism and Economic Growth” (2018 – 2021) within the framework of the Punjab Tourism & Economic Growth Project (PTEGP) (2017-2022), a Government of Punjab project which is supported by the World Bank. The project was awarded jointly to the Institute for Art and Culture (IAC), Lahore and Fondazione Santagata for the Economics of Culture, Turin, Italy.
The stakeholder meeting was hosted by the IAC, the implementing partner of this project, and was attended by representatives of the local government, district government officials, representatives of the Sikh Community, tour operators, tourism development experts and the national team members of this project.
The management structure for the selected sites was discussed and how the surrounding community can be engaged in the decision making process so that they may benefit economically and socially from the development of these sites are tourist destinations. Various aspects of the projects were discussed at length; the historical and geographical context of both Gurdwara Sahib, the conservation plans, the community engagement and sustainable aspect, increasing cultural pluralism and awareness through education, the tourism aspect and the physical documentation and planning of the sites. The aim of this project is to create an Integrated Site Management Plan so that any efforts to improve these Gurdwaras and make them attractive sites for religious, cultural and heritage tourism, must be carried out in consultation with the stakeholder community, especially the Sikh Diaspora.