India ventures into sustainable tourism
Sustainable or eco-tourism is one of the most significant factors that tourists consider while deciding their travel destinations. To celebrate the year of sustainable tourism for development, 'CII Annual Tourism Summit' was organised in the Capital on December 14.
Acknowledging tourism as the most natural and efficient vehicle for promoting inclusive growth for any country, Minister of State (I/C), Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, Alphons Kannanthanam, said, "India is a safe place and everyone can feel comfortable here – only perceptions and the way it is projected needs to be changed. We had 14.5 million tourist arrivals last year and that is not enough for a country as big as India which has so much to offer."
'Sustainable Tourism' is defined as tourism that respects the local people and the travelers, cultural heritage as well as the environment.
Highlighting government-led initiatives such as cycle and music tourism, promoted at the 'Paryavartan Parv' to enhance tourism, Gyan Bhushan, Economic Advisor, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, said, "We all have to think and act responsibly to achieve the goal of sustainability."
Elaborating on the goals of sustainable tourism, Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General of Confederation of Indian Industry, said, "We have to ensure that the tourism sector not only reaps benefits economically but also in responsibility towards the country, people and culture. We should also see to it that it touches the lives of those who are not as privileged as we are."