'Govt support needed to fulfill idea, concept of Indian Tourism'

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New Delhi, Oct 1 (UNI) The idea and concept of Indian Tourism, developed by the Government, would not be fulfilled without active participation and support of the State Governments, a senior official said.

''As there is an alarming situation of global warming, we need to think of responsible tourism and our responsibility to environment, society and the future,'' Leena Nandan, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, said at a one-day Regional Conference on Local Governance and Convergence for Responsible Tourism held recently at Bhopal.

According to a Manipur Information release issued here today, Ms Nandan chaired the conference which was held under the aegis of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, in association with the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (MPTDC).

Managing Director of the MPTDC, Ashwani Lohani, addressed the conference on 'State-level initiatives for Sustainable Tourism Development'.

Ashok Chakravarti, Chief Project Adviser, USAID Institutional Support to Government of South Sudan, was the moderator. He described the USPs of Madhya Pradesh Tourism as a unique heritage, with good climate, low crime rate, excellent law and order, clean places and colourful traditional festivals.

Many delegates from different states addressed the Conference on various Tourism-related areas.

Executive Director of Kudumbashree Mission, Kerala, Sarada Muraleedharan, spoke on 'Building sustainable links between the Tourism Industry and Local Community Service'.

Ms Muraleedharan highlighted the Kerala Rural Tourism Model that emphasised on triple-bottom line-economic responsibility, environmental responsibility and social responsibility.

Deputy Commissioner of West Garo Hills, Meghalaya, Frederick Roy Kharkongor addressed the conference on 'Governance in Community-based Tourism'.

Mr Kharkongor narrated how he had developed six Rural Tourism projects in the Jantia Hills District in Meghalaya during his three-year tenure as Deputy Commissioner, ''without getting any funds from either the Ministry of Tourism or the State Tourism Department''. He said that he conceived the DRDA Special Tourism Projects for creating Tourism infrastructure in every block that was earlier lying underdeveloped and neglected, and to find alternative means of livelihoods for the communities.

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