International Conference on Responsible Tourism held in Kumarakom

Jul 01, 2013 | Vol. 5, Issue 3
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The International Conference on Responsible Tourism (RT) was held at Kumarakom in Kerala organised by Department of Tourism (Govt of Kerala) in association with RTSchool@KIerala Institute for Tourism and Travel studies  from June 27-29, 2013.The theme of the conference was “Responsible Tourism: Looking back. Moving ahead” with speakers from India and abroad recounting RT experiences and evaluating possibilities.

The International Conference on Responsible Tourism (RT) was held at Kumarakom in Kerala organised by Department of Tourism (Govt of Kerala) in association with RTSchool@KIerala Institute for Tourism and Travel studies  from June 27-29, 2013.The theme of the conference was “Responsible Tourism: Looking back. Moving ahead” with speakers from India and abroad recounting RT experiences and evaluating possibilities.

Union Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge) Dr K Chiranjeevi, in his message to delegates at the conference, said that while India today can boast of an unparalleled range of destinations and products, it has much to do in developing these in a responsible manner.

“Our concerns today include overreaching carrying capacity, the unhygienic conditions of our tourism destinations, lack of proper coordination in waste management practices, a lack of concern for nature and environment and above all lack of commitment to preserve our culture and heritage,” the Minister said in his message, which was read out by his private secretary Dr Sai Pratap IPS, at the inaugural function at Backwater Ripples resort, Kumarakom.

Sitaram Yechury, Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture said “Responsible Tourism is not just about economy and livelihood, it is also the removal of debris generated by tourists, not just the physical debris, but the economic, psychological and cultural debris. It is necessary to preserve our cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible.”

The conference was attended by  Dr. Harold Goodwin(Professor in Responsible Tourism Management and Director at Leeds Metropolitan University and Director ICRT), Mr. Mason Florence (Executive Director, Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office), Mr. Srilal Miththapala(Project Director, SWITCH Asia Greening Sri Lanka Hotels Project, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce), Dr. Karma Tshering (Chief, Nature, Recreation & Ecotourism Division (NRED), Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Bhutan), Mr. Christian Rogerson (Professor, School of Tourism and Hospitality, University of Johannesburg, South Africa), Mr. Adama Bah (Travel Foundation Programme Manager, Gambia) , Mr. B. Suman IAS (Secretary Tourism, Government of Kerala) and many other tourism professionals from India, representatives from Local Self Government, Self Help Groups etc.

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