On World Tourism Day, September 26th, 2011, the Kashmir Minister for Tourism, Nawang Rigzan Jora, inaugurated a two-day workshop on ‘Practising Responsible Tourism’ at a local hotel in the region.
Addressing the workshop, the Minister said the workshop was aimed at sensitizing the private functionaries about the need to conserve nature and implement environmentally responsible and sustainable tourism practices.
“The workshop will pave way for adopting eco-friendly practices in tourism projects.”
He said it will convince the tourism players to devise products and manage tourist activities in such a manner that will ensure perennial sustenance of the tourism industry.
The workshop organized by the Ecotourism Society of India (ESOI) in partnership with J&K Tourism and WWF India, was attended by over a hundred delegates from tourism industry and government on first day.
“The workshop aims at setting corrective and curative measures with regard to tourism practices with ecological sensitivity and conservation of nature and community development in the region of Jammu and Kashmir. These practices will not only create a lighter footprint but will support the local communities and environment,” president, ESOI Mandip Singh Sain said.
Commissioner Secretary Tourism, Atul Dulloo emphasized for having responsible tourism as “it stimulates various sectors of economy of the state.”
“Tourism has a lot of potential for generating employment”, he added.
Director Tourism, Farooq Ahmed Shah also addressed the function and said the state government had setup Khadinyar Eco park, Nigeen Nandpora and Zabarwan Park. “More steps are being taken to ensure eco-friendly tourism in the state,” he said.
During the technical session, the speakers deliberated upon some key topics like environment, wildlife law for tourism, international best practices and the global sustainable tourism criteria movement, PPP in ecotourism initiatives, conserving built heritage, eco-friendly architecture for tourism destinations.
Mandeep Singh informed the audience that a panel discussion would be held on ‘Houseboat- A unique tourism opportunity’ on the second day of the workshop.
“It will be attended by representatives from Tourism Department, J&K State Pollution Control Board, LAWDA, Houseboat owners Association and Nigeen Lake conservation organization.
He said a similar 2-day workshop will be held at Leh on September 30.
Others who spoke in the workshops included Secretary Tourism, Kerala Dr Venu V, CEO of Madhya Pradesh Ecotourism Development Board, Ajoy Bhattacharya, MD, CGH Earth Hotels, Jose Dominic, Cherian Ramapuram, Director, Orange County.
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