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Steering panel to formulate sustainable tourism criteria

Government on Wednesday decided to form a steering committee to examine Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria for maximizing socio-economic benefits for the local community and check exploitation of tourism resources.



New Delhi: Government on Wednesday decided to
form a steering committee to examine Global Sustainable
Tourism Criteria (GSTC) for maximizing socio-economic benefits
for the local community and check exploitation of tourism
resources.

The committee comprising all major tourism stakeholders
will study global practices to recommend suitable criteria to
be adopted in the country as a way forward for sustainable
tourism programmes.

Tourism Ministry is keen to formulate a policy that
encourages sustainable tourism while underlining creation of
environmental, social, economic and climate responsiveness.

As a new initiative, Tourism Ministry has organised a
two-day seminar to explore possible ways for the sustainable
tourism development.

Christy Fernandez, Secretary to President, said,
economic development, sustainable habitat and involvement of
people were the three pillars for sustainable tourism
development.

Calling for a paradigm shift in the approach, Fernandez
said without the cooperation of local self-government bodies
and locals no criteria can be adopted.

"We have to make the locals aware of the need for sustainable tourism. Society has to be put on the forefront,"
Fernandez said in a valedictory address at the concluding
session of the seminar.

"The need for sustainable tourism criteria cannot be
ignored," said Tourism Secretary Sujit Banerjee
"There is a high pressure on tourism resources and if
we do not act now we will be too late," he said.

However, Banerjee said criteria cannot be implemented
in one go and the steering committee has to finalise a time
schedule for it.

All major stakeholders of tourism industry including
tour operators, hotel owners, houseboats owners,
representatives from adventure tourism, wildlife and eco
tourism and local bodies will be part of the steering
committee.

Besides experts from India, global experts from United
Nations Foundation (UNF) and United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP), officials from Environment Ministry and
Tourism Ministry had participated in the workshop.

PTI

From Zee News

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