International tourism conference from Mar 21

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Kochi, Mar 14: Around 400 delegates and international speakers will attend the four-day second International Responsible Tourism Conference to be held here on March 21.

The speakers from more than 20 countries, including the UK, Germany, Gambia, South Africa, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Bhutan, will discuss a wide-range of topics related to the latest developments and practices in 'Responsible Tourism'. Union Tourism Minister Ambika Soni is expected to inaugurate the meet, which will be jointly organised by the Kerala Tourism, ICRT and the India Tourism.

The themes for discussion will also include local economic development and poverty reduction, taking responsibility for destination sustainability, travel philanthropy and the role of national and local governments. Kerala's Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the choice of Kerala as the venue was a tribute to the state's 'Responsible Tourism' initiatives, the release added.

''Kerala has successfully implemented Responsible Tourism practices and is home to several working models, contributing to enrich the environment and the local community,'' he added.

Kerala Tourism Secretary V Venu said the main objective of the meet was to create awareness among operators, hoteliers, governments, local people and tourists to take responsibility and action to make tourism sector more sustainable.

The conference is a follow up to the first Responsible Tourism Conference held in Capetown, South Africa, in 2002. Kumbalangi, Fort Kochi, Kumarakom and Mattancherry will be showcased during the event.

UNI

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