The Ministry of Tourism, in partnership with the United Environment Program (UNEP) and the Responsible Tourism Society of India (RTSOI), organized a national summit on the development of sustainable and responsible tourism destinations in New Delhi on Saturday. On this occasion, the Ministry of Tourism launched the national strategy for sustainable tourism and the responsible traveler campaign, the Ministry of Tourism said in a statement.
The strategy document has identified the strategic pillars for the development of sustainable tourism such as the promotion of environmental sustainability, the protection of biodiversity, the promotion of economic sustainability, the promotion of socio-cultural sustainability, the sustainable tourism certification system , IEC, capacity building and governance. (Also read: Third India-Bangladesh passenger train set to run from Wednesday)
Speaking on the occasion, Tourism Secretary Arvind Singh said that tourism and the environment share a special relationship.
“Their interaction with each other is a two-way process. On the one hand, environmental resources are one of the basic ingredients of tourism,” he said.
The natural and artificial framework form the tourist products that the tourist likes to experience and relax. On the other hand, the close and direct relationship between visitors, host communities and the local environment creates a delicate situation, in which tourism can be both very damaging and also very positive for sustainable development.
The COVID-19 pandemic has further compelled the tourism sector to focus on resilience, sustainability and interconnectedness among various stakeholders in the sector, the minister said.
Singh added that “we must use cleaner fuels. The Prime Minister also announced that India will increase its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW and meet 50% of its energy needs from renewables by 2030. . “
“State tourism policies must recognize the principles of sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals in their vision and strategic direction for tourism. With the vision of creating a sustainable future for tourism, the Ministry of Tourism has also taken various steps in this direction,” he added.
Singh said the Ministry of Tourism, in a bid to provide an experience for tourists, launched the ‘Swadesh Darshan Scheme’ and has sanctioned 76 projects so far.
With the learnings from this program, “we have now revamped the Swadesh Darshan program into Swadesh Darshan 2.0,” he said.
The idea of Swadesh Darshan 2.0 is to undertake holistic development with the vision of developing sustainable and responsible tourist destinations.
“When formulating the guidelines for SD 2.0, we kept various elements in mind in order to undertake the development of the destination in a sustainable and responsible manner. Through Swadesh Darshan, Sustainable and Responsible Tourism 2.0 practices will be implemented in various projects and initiatives,” he said. added.
The program will encourage the adoption of the principles of sustainable tourism, including environmental, socio-cultural and economic sustainability, the ministry said.
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