A capacity building workshop on responsible tourism in the Himalayas was organized by WWF-India in collaboration with Ministry of Tourism at Himachal Institute of Public Administration. The Programme commenced with an inaugural address by Dr. Vandana Thaplyal, State director WWF-India, field office Shimla. She greeted the Chief Guest Chief Secretary Subridto Roy Govt. of Himachal Pradesh. In her speech she briefed about the workshop and said that the workshop is an attempt to address issues of sustainable and responsible tourism.
In the key note address Chief Secretary discussed on various sectors of tourism. He said that we need to promote responsible and conscious tourism. He discussed that banning plastics is very successful in Shimla, but recycling is still a challenge. He appealed that we need to be responsible and knowledgeable ourselves and the can only we propagate. He stressed upon on the need for cooperation of all sectors to promote responsible tourism and there should be two way interactions to make better governance.
Subashish Panda, Director Department of tourism, gave a presentation on Sustainable tourism and its purpose. He also discussed how the sustainable helps to improve quality of life and maintain quality of environment. Adverse effects of tourism were also discussed by him. He also stressed on joint efforts of municipality, Government, private sector and communities to promote responsible tourism.
Dr. Purnima Chauhan discussed the impact of tourism and the need for study on carrying capacity of tourists. Speaking on Himachal Tourism she said that Himachal enjoys 2.5% share of foreign arrivals in India and contributes to 8% of GDP. Natural resources are exploited and tourism is depends on these natural resources and we need to conserve our natural resources.
She also said the communities are best decision makers. Success story of Kanda vialge of Uttrakhand, where there is no road and organic food is grown and served to the tourist and every tourist has to make a contribution to the village.
Dr. JC Kuniyal Sceintist GP pant institute Mohal, Kullu gave a presentations on solid waste management in the tourism areas of the central and the northwestern Himalayas. Various sources of solid waste generation were discussed by him. He also said that if the solid waste of world is collected, it would be higher or equal to Mount Everest.
Presentation on status of air and water quality in Himachal and Impact on tourism was given by Dr. Harish Sharma Sr. Scientist, HP State Pollution control board and a presentation on Sustainability of tourism and analysis of trends and impacts in Himachal was given by Dr. Ranjan Joshi, Scientist GP Pant institute. Official of tourism department and other officials were present in the workshop.