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Legacy Experiences: Restorative And Recreational Dimensions

Legacy businesses should bring recreational models to become well-known, to restore cultural heritage assets for a bespoke understanding of India as appropriated by stories and make a valuable contribution to society.

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Legacy is all about the maintenance of family history and keeping intact tangible and intangible items, built units that have been passed from the previous generations. If kept intact, the same becomes a part of inheritance and matter of great pride for the future generations. India's diversity reflects the varied restorative practices of the past among families, businesses, and individuals. In the present times, the custodian realizes the value of passed legacy, more than ever, when new age explorers demand unique and authentic experiences.

The realism scenarios bring storytellers who could read and research and present the information in form of storytelling sessions accentuated by lost recipes.

Commodifying ‘tradition’ is becoming more experiential with the generational change as legacy keeper's thoughtful continuity and planning of - keeping values, culture, and assets that are unified through revenue generation. Sometimes, if not often, succession plan does have conflicting visions within the family units where long-term views are mitigated by dividing the tangibles without keeping in perspective the legacy ownership for the future generations.

Conflicts are managed either through auctions or from a mediator who brings robust resolutions to create unity while managing protocols and keeping some shares benefitting all thereby making relationships more impactful, resilient, and inclusive.

The engagement with legacy custodians from the family tree helps in assimilating the ambitions to create opportunities for all members interested in managing day affairs linking to revenue generation. The tourism and hospitality sector always takes the first step in terms of testing ground for creating wealth and bring family empowerment.

The competencies required to manage the business are outsourced and in general delegation is kept watertight. Discovery of India is best in local explorations and stories passed from generation to generation bring authentic meaning to experiential awareness. Tourism is a people’s industry and legacy keepers have to imbibe the service values while disseminating their information and provide an environment to appreciate the views of team members.

Present times are full of unwanted threats to all businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The education-led awareness can only exploit growth when technologies adopted are implemented by data analytics. So far, the stagnated academics have been providing assumption-based learning; it is now an opportunity for new batch of candidates to join legacy services and for the businesses' the opportunity to empower a new cohort of chosen employees and train them on legacy maintenance and growth models to remain future relevant.

The service areas of transportation, gastronomy, arts could be utilized for recreation purposes and can provide guaranteed revenue based on ticketed visits. Tourism-based economics, when applied to legacy businesses, can create valuable jobs and bring sustainability, inclusivity, and profit alongside the creation of discerning networks spread across the planet. 

In the experience-based economy, the legacy businesses could offer an array of activities and special events for the visitors. The recreational dimensions bring awareness when it gets integrated with destination promotions managed by the public and private sector to offer destination newness and community impact.  The authentic restorations of buildings with special access turn them into an attraction and a must-visit proposition for visitors.

The service consistency is required to make it a sustainable business model and distributing the success with the residents of town/city will increase the demand for restorative experiences. The legacy-based business could offer their ideologies, excellent fund, and grants to keep the residents' contented and appreciative of the family members operating business activities. This could further make the legacy business more resilient to domestic growth during global economic adversities.

Insulating threats is an important area to be considered by legacy keepers as India is all about interfaith dynamics and policymaking is dependent on government and political situations. The perceived dynamism of the service offerings should be such that the business does not get impacted by economic or situational adversities.  

The focus on ethical practices is a must to maintain authentic offerings and keeping harmony between residents and the workforce and being seen as a major driving force behind the development of the tourism environment.  Virtual technological advancements and artificial intelligence is an area for engagement with the world.  Preserving cultural heritage is increasingly going digital, and content centric engagements are bringing ‘Pure Experiences’ and ‘Slow Journeys’. This also helps the legacy keepers being more open to public scrutiny, serve community and create citizen engagement.

The knowledge dissemination could open up new revenue lines giving substantial rewards to the legacy keepers on the family-linked content licensing opportunities. The intellectual property rights (IPR) links multigenerational assets being adopted by world leaders in hospitality and tourism as an authentic product to sell. The adoption of IPRs requires deliberation and a professional approach to questions such as ownership and recognition before IPs are developed for use in global markets.  A robust governance policy is essential to reap the benefits of IPR and maintain peace within the complex family relationships managed by the intermediaries to keep the family legacy alive. The proactive role is required to manage internal and external conflicts, succession planning, and expectations so that vision that is set out for the family and the business is achieved most harmoniously.

Foresight and hindsight are required when hiring curators and conservationists as these individuals have to be more entrepreneurial than professionals while working with legacy-based assets (real estate, artworks, furniture, etc.). The past research of family-owned business models has shown discretionary gaps in relationships created by third parties.  The rejuvenation practices have to be ticked off by an entire cluster of legacy keepers and cannot be mandated by just one person. The regular instances of debates and debriefs are required by hired personnel to bring everybody on the same page and then only commence the work. The effective governance of the funds ensures the future success of the legacies passed on for the next generations.

Immortalizing the family values is the vision for legacy custodianship and it can only happen when succession and transition of power are smooth and benefits the owners. In today’s dynamically changing world, introducing new revenues lines through tourism-driven businesses demands autonomy and independence which drives respective business functions. Atithi Devo Bhava (Guest is God) and client are always right the two mantras to success. The transparent customer engagements and authentic interpretations will define the success. The legacy keepers have to refrain from providing non-competent views and should not interfere in the regular functioning of business except when facilitating awards, private events, and charities. Tourism is a delicate sector one miss can trigger the future traveling season revenues. The sales and marketing have to be managed by passionate individuals who understand royalty and legacy. Promotion and conservation of legacy businesses depends on local and national trends which can be amplified through our ‘Culture Display’ model, weaving together immersive deliveries appropriated with ‘Slow Experiences & Tales”.

In general, the legacy products are not loud with their creative approach however, the services desired are benchmarked to redefine luxury and this is what is perceived by the visitor. The India experience for foreigners and Indians requires authentic value additions such as special access to storytelling sessions, luncheons and book readings, etc. The mass showcase of products should get a cookie-cutter approach with quality audits on service quality and customer feedback. The development of branding strategies for promoting tourism requires the right balance of publishing family faces on advertised offerings. Any legacy-based tourism advertising intends to manage the generation gap and aligns visitor aspirations.  Selling family culture has to have a no-nonsense approach. Future tourism will be different in post-covid-19 times and the accessibility of the offerings has to be affordable to local and global markets. The product development and experience delivery have to show a sense of responsibility while the depth of immersion can be managed around discovery & collection, research & storytelling, preservation & cataloging, custom historical archives, legacy business program, archives & preservation, heritage publications, films, etc.

Legacy businesses should bring recreational models to become well-known, to restore cultural heritage assets for a bespoke understanding of India as appropriated by stories and make a valuable contribution to society.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Dr Sachin Bansal

The author is the Founder and Chief Explorer® of ‘City Explorers Private Limited, India’ and with two decades of experience, he has multiple flagships functional in the arena of community impact and destination product creation within tourism industry. As a destination branding specialist, he has coined the conceptual acronyms and led the co-creation through ‘Experiential Delivery in Tourism (EDiT)™’ and ‘Resonating Experiential Delivery Outcome (REDO)™’. For IP related enquiry or for more information can reach Dr. Sachin Bansal on [email protected]

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