JAMMU: Minister of State for Tourism Priya Sethi Friday said that tourism is a powerful and transformative force that can make a genuine difference in the life of millions through socio-economic transformation.
The Minister said this while inaugurating the 4th International Conference on ‘Sustainable Destination Excellence: Empowering Communities for Inclusive Tourism Development’ which began at School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, University of Jammu, here today.
Secretary Tourism Farooq Ahmad Shah was also present on the occasion.
Academicians, policy makers, travel editors and industry professionals from across the country and 6 countries are taking part in this two-day International Conference.
Priya Sethi while speaking on the occasion said that a proper way to analyze sustainable tourism is to scrutinize how it can meet the needs of the host population in terms of improving standards of living in the short and long term. “The real parameters for measuring social and economic development are the improvement in condition of life and livelihood of ordinary people. The more local people gain from tourism the more they will support tourism activity and greater will be their motivation to protect natural resources and heritages,” she said
“With 2017 having been designated as International year of sustainable tourism for development by United Nations, we have a unique opportunity to raise awareness on contributions of sustainable tourism with regard to development among public and private sector for working together in making tourism a catalyst for positive change,” the Minister added.
Laying stress on the need to pay attention on relationship between tourism and environment specifically on the problems associated with tourism expansion, the Minister said that policy makers have to draw policies that not only advance tourism development but are friendly to cultural, economic and natural environment. Innovation as a fundamental role to play in improving sustainability and in opening doors for inclusive growth, she added.
Appreciating the initiative of Jammu University of bringing in policy makers, academia and industry on one platform, the Minister hoped that this conference acts as a medium for sharing and spreading knowledge on policy, practical technology and mechanism for increasing sustainability, innovativeness of all inclusive growth of tourism.