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Bhopal International Conference on Sustainable Tourism to be held from April 18-19, 2013

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The Bhopal International Conference on Sustainable Tourism will be jointly hosted by the Ecotourism Society of India (ESOI) and the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (MPTDC) with support from the ministry of tourism, Government of India in Bhopal on April 18-19, 2013 at Jeha Numa Place Hotel.

The aim of this conference is to come up with a meaningful conceptualisation of ecotourism that meets policy requirements, reflects existing ground realities and strikes a balance between conservation, tourism and local livelihoods. This will help create enlightened policies at the government level and bring above best practices in the tourism industry.

To achieve this, the conference will facilitate deliberations among international experts, policy-makers from the Government of India and state governments, academics, NGOs and representatives of communities currently engaged in tourism. The technical sessions of the conference will look at international best practices of multi-stakeholder involvement as well as the national level ecotourism framework in India.

The platform of this conference will also be channelised for generating specific policy inputs for Madhya Pradesh’s Ecotourism Policy as well as for discussions on harnessing the tourism potential of Madhya Pradesh’s important religious destinations with special emphasis on its historical Buddhist sites.

The confirmed eminent international and national speakers participating at the conference, amongst others, include Enrico Ducrot, CEO, Viaggi dell’Elefante and ECO Luxury, Italy; Richard Vigne, CEO, OL Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya; Les Carlisle, group conservation manager, at & Beyond, South Africa, Hashim Tyabji, member, Tiger Nation; Dr. Rohini Chaturvedi, UK (Cambridge), Former Programme Officer, WWF-India Secretariat, Swathi Seshadri, EQUATIONS, Guy Chester GSTC, Lynn Woodworth Australia.

Mandip Singh Soin FRGS, honourary president and founding member, ESOI emphasising on the promotion of sustainable tourism development said, “It is a balance between conservation, tourism and local livelihoods while maintaining the cultural and environmental integrity of the host communities and enhancing the protection of ecologically sensitive areas and natural heritages.”  He welcomed Madhya Pradesh Tourism support to the conference and efforts in saving the environment promoting ecotourism in the state.

Raghvendre Kumar Singh, managing director, Madhya Pradesh Tourism stated, “In the present scenario ecotourism is essential for human development and environmental development. The BICST 2013 is another step to make a new framework for and promote environmental friendly tourism in Madhya Pradesh known for its religious hubs of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam, Khajuraho temples, impregnable forts, exquisitely carved Jain temples, palaces, which are the glorious reminders of erstwhile era of the royal Rajas and Maharajahs. Also famous for its wildlife sanctuaries and national parks endowed with incredible natural beauty and splendor.”