United Nations: Jul 15 India is creating a conducive environment for the tourism sector to contribute to economic growth, environmental protection and social well-being in a sustainable manner, Union Minister for Culture, Tourism and Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) G Kishan Reddy has said.
Addressing an event at the ‘High-Level Political Forum 2023 – UN World Tourism Organization’ here at the UN headquarters on Friday (July 14), he said India is committed to sustainable and green tourism. He said,
India is actively advancing Sustainable Development Goals through tourism, implementing various activities and strategies. India is creating a conducive environment for the tourism sector to contribute to economic growth, environmental protection and social wellbeing in a sustainable manner. India is committed to sustainable tourism and green tourism.
Mr. Reddy told the session, also addressed by the President of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly Csaba Korosi and President of the Economic and Social Council Lachezara Stoeva, that India has launched a national strategy for sustainable tourism.
He said there are seven key pillars under the strategy which focus on promoting environment, economic and socio-cultural sustainability, protecting biodiversity and creating awareness through skill development and entrepreneurship training.
Mr. Reddy said the Ministry of Tourism has launched the ‘Travel for LiFE’ programme to promote sustainable tourism in the country.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, the programme is developed to bring large-scale behavioural change amongst tourists and tourism businesses, which will have a significant impact on environmental protection and climate action. It said,
The programme holds tremendous significance for promoting India’s G20 priority of Green Tourism under the Tourism Working Group.
Mr. Reddy said India is focusing on enhancing connectivity to important tourist destinations. The Ministry of Tourism is collaborating with the Ministry of Civil Aviation and other ministries in the country as a “whole-of-government approach”.
He said such initiatives have resulted in the operationalisation of tourism routes, facilitating easier access to iconic sites and boosting tourism in those regions.
Mr. Reddy said under India’s G20 presidency, five interconnected priority areas in the tourism sector have been identified and these are the key building blocks for enhancing the tourism sector and achieving the targets for 2030 SDGs. He said,
The Goa Roadmap for tourism as a vehicle for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is a pioneering global effort towards developing the tourism sector through the lens of sustainable development goals
The Goa Roadmap was endorsed at the G20 Tourism Working Group Meeting and Ministerial Meeting held in Goa on June 19-22. A G20 press release had said that the five priorities of the roadmap that will be implemented to achieve sustainable tourism are green tourism, digitalisation, skills, tourism MSMEs and destination management. Mr. Reddy said,
A notable feature of the G20 Indian presidency 2023 Goa Roadmap is its commitment to promoting collaboration and engagement to leverage activities to position the tourism sector as a leader in collective progress towards the SDGs.
He said in line with the digitisation drive, India is leveraging technology to empower the hospitality and tourism industry.
All these “comprehensive efforts” by the government of India reflects its commitment to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals through tourism by focusing on sustainable practices, infrastructure development, enhanced connectivity, green transport and digitalisation, he said.
Earlier, Mr. Reddy paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at the UN by offering floral tributes at his bust installed at the North Lawn of the world body’s headquarters.
The Gandhi bust is a gift from India to the UN and was installed in the expansive North Lawn during India’s Presidency of the 15-nation UN Security Council in December 2022.
On Thursday after his arrival in the city, Mr. Reddy addressed a community reception organised at the Consulate General of India in New York.
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