UN promotes sustainable growth in tourism industry

  • | Wednesday | 27th September, 2023

Nagpur: The theme for World Tourism Day (September 27) this year is Tourism and Green Investment, which the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) wants to use to promote sustainable growth in the tourism industry worldwide. Urvashi Yashroy, a veteran in the hospitality and tourism industry, said that tourism around the world has gone up significantly with more spending power and urge to explore and seek adventure. The world is becoming smaller and a more accessible place to all. Now the time has come when tourists and tour operators, along with hoteliers or homestay providers, need to exercise restraint in their business.Yashroy emphasised on the idea of Going Green, which refers to actions taken to ensure business practices, products and services do not harm the environment — now or in the future. Yashroy, who is also the director of Tuli Group of Educational Institutes, said Going green is good for local tour operators in developing countries as it gives them an opportunity to grow and be successful. Talks of investing in solar power, wind power or hydro electricity for the use of tourists. Hotels/resorts can provide a lot of luxury on such sources of power, without harming the environment. Initial cost maybe too high but long-term rewards are high.Gaurav Chouksey, director of Olive Resorts said sustainability, said it is possible. Resorts can replenish ground water easily as well as practice rainwater harvesting, use solar for electricity and do construction via eco sensitive material like mud, dried wood etc. employ only locals, practice organic farming and prepare their own manure from waste, not using gensets etc.Chouksey, however, wondered how luxury segments will align business interests with sustainability. When we talk of luxury, it usually means excess of everything — ACs, hot water, non stop electricity, global food choices among other things. Some of these resources are non biodegradable and environmental hazards, said Chouksey. The cost of sustainability needs to match expected benefit.We also published the following articles recentlyTourism stakeholders to focus on green investmentsOn World Tourism Day, more than 500 stakeholders in Goa will gather to discuss green investments in the tourism sector. The event, organized by TTAG, SKAL Goa, and Goa Tourism, aims to address key issues and find solutions. With consumer preferences shifting towards eco-friendly options, green investments are crucial for the industrys recovery from the pandemic. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation has identified investments as a priority for tourisms future growth, emphasizing the need for targeted investments for people, the planet, and prosperity. The days events include a heritage walk and a boat cruise for children with disabilities.Here, Ganeshotsava focuses on sustainable practicesThe Ganeshotsava celebrations in Moodabidri, Karnataka, aimed at promoting sustainability by using durable steel plates and tumblers instead of disposable ones. The event organizers and the municipality collaborated to advocate for sustainable practices. Around 20,000 people were served breakfast and snacks, and 55,000 people were served lunch and dinner on steel plates. The procession during the celebrations also implemented measures to address littering, including placing gunny bags for waste collection. Various organizations, such as the Netaji Brigade and Panaka Seva Samithi, also made eco-friendly choices by using steel tumblers and encouraging the use of coconut shells for drinking.Goa committed to green tourism, says KhaunteGoas tourism minister, Rohan Khaunte, has urged stakeholders to embrace the Goa Road Map, which focuses on green tourism and aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals. The road map includes five pillars: green tourism, digitization, skills enhancement, tourism micro, small and medium enterprises, and destination management. Khaunte emphasized the importance of strengthening all pillars for the success of green tourism. He also addressed the controversy surrounding the shack policy, stating that the government will not be swayed by political pressure.

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