Sus­tain & de­velop tourism

In­ter­ac­tion be­tween tourism stu­dents and those prac­tis­ing and teach­ing the sub­ject is vi­tal, if tourism has to reach the stake­hold­ers. But is that hap­pen­ing?

TravTalk - India - - NTO - ANIL MATHUR

An in­ter­ac­tion be­tween in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als and stu­dents of tourism is all the more im­por­tant if the sub­ject un­der dis­cus­sion is as im­por­tant as ‘Em­pow­er­ing Com­mu­ni­ties for In­clu­sive Tourism De­vel­op­ment,’ which was the theme of the 4th In­ter­na­tional Con­fer­ence On Sus­tain­able Des­ti­na­tion Ex­cel­lence, or­gan­ised by the School of Hos­pi­tal­ity and Tourism Man­age­ment (SHTM), Uni­ver­sity of Jammu, on March 3 and 4, 2017.

“What added to the value of the meet was the pres­ence of del­e­gates from as many as eight coun­tries, apart from schol­ars, stu­dents and re­searchers from sev­eral parts of the coun­try. Over a 100 pa­pers were pre­sented, which will be pub­lished in a book form,” said Prof. Parik­shat Singh Man­has, Di­rec­tor, SHTM, and Con­fer­ence Con­vener.

There were 10 tracks dur­ing the tech­ni­cal ses­sions, where sub­jects ranged from case stud­ies, so­cial trans­for­ma­tion, and en­tre­pre­neur­ial op­por­tu­ni­ties to hu­man and so­cial is­sues in tourism. The most in­ter­est­ing part of the meet was the pre­sen­ta­tions, heard in rapt at­ten­tion by the stu­dents, of del­e­gates from Hun­gary, Tai­wan, Is­rael, Kaza­khstan, among oth­ers, who added a fresh per­spec­tive to how the sus­tain­able is­sues are han­dled in their re­spec­tive coun­tries.

Jammu and Kash­mir Min­is­ter of State for Tourism Priya Sethi set the ball rolling, as it were, by point­ing out that a proper way to an­a­lyse sus­tain­able tourism is to scru­ti­nize how it can meet the needs of the host pop­u­la­tion in im­prov­ing the stan­dards of liv­ing in short and long term. Mak­ing tourism work for sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment was vi­tal, she said.

Fa­rooq Shah, Sec­re­tary Tourism, Jammu and Kash­mir Govern­ment, said it was im­por­tant to see how tourism was chang­ing and how frag­ile nat­u­ral re­sources were. In­ter­est­ingly, Kash­miri politi­cian Sa­j­jad Lone, spoke of the sup­ply side, say­ing that in­fra­struc­ture has to be de­vel­oped and the tourists given op­tions and choices to see des­ti­na­tions.

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