New Delhi: United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) commission's conference on sustainable tourism development and 25th joint meeting of the UNWTO commission for East Asia, Pacific and South Asia will be held in Hyderabad from April 12.
Announcing this, Union Tourism Minister K. Chiranjeevi said the need of the hour is not the tourism growth alone but development of tourism in a sustainable manner.
He said in this meeting international experts, delegates from the member countries of the UNWTO Commissions for South Asia and East Asia and Pacific, UNWTO, various state governments of India and tourism industry will participate. During the conference exchange of ideas will take place on the way forward to develop tourism in a sustainable manner.
Asserting that India has been working with UNWTO closely for the cause of developing nations, Chiranjeevi said: "Our initiative at the international level to host the two events, no doubt, will go a long way in highlighting India's role in promoting global and regional tourism in sustainable manner for the economic growth, employment generation and social integration".
He further said South Asian region has rich and varied tourism products to attract visitors from the world over - with heritage and culture dating back to thousands of years, architectural and natural marvels, an unmatched bio-diversity and home to almost all the world religions.
"In spite of rich heritage, the market share of South Asia in World Tourist Arrivals is only 1.3 percent - which is a cause of concern. On a positive note the average annual growth in international tourist arrivals to the region during the period 2005 to 2011 has been 7.2 percent as compared to the world annual average growth of 3.5 percent during the same period," he added.
Chiranjeevi further said the 25th meeting of the UNWTO Joint Commission will bring together tourism authorities from 27 member countries and two associate members and give them an opportunity to review the tourism performance of the two regions and deliberate upon measures and policies to be adopted for future.
In this meeting, the best practices and policies adopted world over will also be shared. India is currently the chairperson of the UNWTO Regional Commission for South Asia and considering the fact that the 25th Joint Meeting is being held in India, we would be chairing this meeting with Malaysia as co-chair, he added.
He further informed that till date 21 countries namely Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Fiji, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, LAO PDR, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam have confirmed their participation.
The UNWTO is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.