JAMMU: Minister of State for Education, Technical Education, Culture and Tourism Priya Sethi on Friday said growth of tourism industry could be accelerated only by “embracing entrepreneurship and technological advancements”. The minister said this after inaugurating 5th International Conference on “Sustainable Destination Excellence” under the theme of Transforming Social Communities through Tourism Entrepreneurship at Brigadier Rajinder Singh Auditorium at University of Jammu here. The conference was organised by School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (SHTM), University of Jammu in collaboration with Tourism Department, an official handout read. She said these types of conferences/ seminars provide a platform to various stakeholders including academic researchers and industry professionals to share their valuable experiences and ideas with each other for the benefit of the industry. “Tourism has become a powerful and transformative force which is making a genuine difference in the lives of people with regard to transforming social communities through entrepreneurship,” she said. “The conference is a unique opportunity to raise awareness on the contributions of sustainable tourism with regard to development among public and private sector for working together in making tourism a catalyst for positive change,” she added. The minister said that it was important to involve locals in tourism activities to motivate for protection of the natural resources and heritage. She said that the international conference will become a massive event for industry and assured that the government would provide all possible help to explore opportunities for making the state incredible, the handout read. She also said the conference would encourage small-time entrepreneurs who support needs of visitors and, therefore, benefit tourism revenue. She invited everyone to “join the mission of making tourism industry a sustainable, responsible and a green industry”, the handout added.