Sustainable practices and MICE segment to boost tourism in India
The India Pavilion at EXPO2020 Dubai hosted ‘Tourism Fortnight’, promoting sustainable tourism and MICE segment in the country. The sessions titled, ‘Tourism at Crossroads – Mainstreaming sustainability for future of tourism’ and ‘Meet in India: Emerging Hub for Business and Social Events’ were organised.
The session highlighted India’s impressive combination of accommodation and conference support facilities that make the country a successful MICE destination globally. The session was addressed by Shri Rakesh Kumar Verma, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and Chairman, India Convention Promotion Bureau virtually.
Shri Verma said, “MICE industry is an important contributor to national economies as it contributes to income generation and creates huge employment opportunities, provides an impetus to hospitality services including sectors like accommodation, food and beverages, convention services, transportation, tourism, and entertainment. India possesses excellent convention and hospitality infrastructure, unparalleled cultural, natural attractions and a rapidly growing economy all of which act as catalysts to India emerging as a hub of business and social events.”
Another crucial sector that Shri Verma highlighted is that of Wedding Tourism. He said, “Wedding is another important niche area which is growing rapidly, many destinations in the country are emerging as wedding destinations and industry is getting more organized.”
Ministry of Tourism is working on the strategy to position India as a MICE destination in the world and a hub of mega conferences and exhibitions.
The session on Sustainable Tourism addressed key challenges for the tourism sector and the ways in which future of tourism could be shaped by sustainable and responsible policies and action by the Governments and Private Sector. The session was facilitated by Shri G Kamala Vardhana Rao, Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, virtually where he highlighted the strengths of India to work towards ensuring sustainable responsible tourism practices.
He said, “Tourism is one of the important sectors globally as it provides almost 11-13% of employment globally, and ranges between 7-9% of the GDP of many countries. The World Trade Organization (WTO) has clearly defined guidelines for Sustainable Tourism which are to conserve government resources, protect biodiversity while respecting resources of the cultures, benefiting the local communities and to address the needs and benefits of the tourism industry.”
He added that planning is a pivotal element of urbanization, and it needs to be addressed meticulously, for the future generations to thrive.