In order to develop sustainable and responsible tourist destinations and promote sustainable tourism in the Country, Ministry of Tourism in association with IITTM, UNEP and RTSOI organised a first regional workshop on Development of Sustainable and Responsible Tourist Destinations at Khajuraho on 29th November, 2022. The workshop witnessed wide participation of senior Government officials and Tourism industry stakeholders of States/ Union Territories of Central and Western region viz. Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Daman & Diu and Goa.
Keynote address at the workshop was delivered by Prashant Ranjan, Director, Ministry of Tourism. He highlighted the need of sustainability in tourism and significance of Centre, State and Industry collaboration in achieving the objective. He also spoke about the Prime Minister’s vision for environmental sustainability. He underscored how tourism can be aligned with LiFE Mission. He introduced the Travel for LiFE campaign launched by Ministry of Tourism.
Uttank Joshi, Assistant Director General, Ministry of Tourism shared success stories of Swadesh Darshan 1.0, a flagship centrally sponsored scheme of Ministry of Tourism for creating tourism infrastructure in the country. He also gave an overview of Swadesh Darshan 2.0 and how it integrates sustainability in destination development.
Anirudh Chaoji an eminent eco-tourism practitioner and representative of RTSOI deliberated with the participants on sensitising the tourist and creating a demand for responsible travel.
Manisha Chaudhary shared some landmark efforts like the Global Tourism Plastics initiative and the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism launched in November 2021 in climate change CoP 26. She encouraged stakeholders to join such initiatives and set targets to address triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss in alignment with national and global commitments for sustainable development.
Presentations were also made by representatives of State Tourism Departments Central and Western region, calling attention to their best practices in sustainable tourism.
Central Nodal Agency for Sustainable Tourism, Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management briefed the participants about the salient features of Sustainable Tourism Criteria for India (STCI). The participants also took the Travel for LiFE pledge to commit themselves towards travelling responsibly.
Grassroot industry stakeholders also presented their innovative ways of implementing sustainable tourism in different regions of central and western regions to create tangible positive impact.
The workshop strengthened the engagement among the Ministry of Tourism, State Governments/ UT Administrations and Industry stakeholders towards achieving Sustainability Goals.