SAYONI BHADURI – Mumbai
On the occasion of World Tourism Day, India Tourism Office (W) together with and Indian Mrechant’s Chamber (IMC) conducted a seminar on Tourism & Sustainable Energy: Powering Sustainable Development. The topic was based on UNWTO’s ongoing efforts to forge tourism’s contribution to sustainable development. The seminar began with Dr Jagdish Patil, MD, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation elaborating on the steps that they have taken up to promote sustainable tourism. “We are promoting Greeny, the Great, rural tourism, use of solar and wind power and the Clean India Campaign. We have also tied-up with ESOI,” he said. He further added that MTDC is working with schools and colleges who are affiliated to the National Service Scheme to promote tourism. Dr Patil’s presentation was followed by P Pujari, manager, Maharashtra Energy Development Authority and VM Motghare, joint director, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board. Both speakers explained what the bodies have achieved and highlighted how the private sector players in the tourism sector could benefit from the schemes to promote sustainable tourism.
Veteran industry stalwart, Pradip Madhavji, chairman (Tourism committee), IMC delved into the potential tourism has for India and the need for equitable distribution of inbound traffic across the country. He spoke of different elements of tourism that need to be the current focus. “If we are able to convince a traveller, entering, exiting or transiting through Mumbai to stay one extra day in the city, we will generate foreign exchange earnings in excess of INR 300 crore for the state,” he said. He also added that rather always trying to promote Maharashtra as a stand-alone product, tie-ups and joint promotion with neighbouring states. Punish Sharma, area GM, Meluha The Fern showcased the sustainable and energy efficient processes that the hotel uses and the benefits thereof. He informed that the hotel’s common areas do not use artificial lighting from 6.00 am to 6.00 pm, the hotel is completely lit by natural light. The hotel does not use any geysers, instead uses the hot air from the air conditioning systems to heat water. Sharma, “Putting these systems in place since the inception of the hotel, we managed to save INR 22 crore in a year’s time.”
Roma Singh, regional director, India Tourism on the World Tourism Day said, “World Tourism Day is a great way to bring to light global challenges and ways to address them. Tourism after all means to achieve an end. And sustainability is definitely the way forward.”