Madhya Pradesh is one of the most functional States in the country of promoting tourism; both on national and international level.
At present, there is a need to integrate the tourism with environment in such a way that along with environmental safeguard, the goal of social, cultural, and economic development could also be achieved.
This was stated by the Principal Secretary, Tourism and Culture Sheo Shekhar Shukla while addressing a virtual webinar organized on the theme 'Regenerative Tourism' on the occasion of World Environment Day. Sheo Shekhar Shukla said that the world has witnessed outbreaks of many worrisome diseases in the last ten years, including deadly infections like SARS, MERS, Zika and Ebola. This is a sign that we have to pay attention to environmental protection and promotion, to avoid diseases. In travel and tourism, we have to incorporate new standards and changes according to the changing world, which along with environmental protection become an agent of economic development.
Shukla said that this webinar focused on the importance of taking a holistic approach towards tourism and benefitting all the stakeholders while ensuring the well-being of the environment and the local community.
He pointed out that the travel and tourism sector contributes more than 7 percent to India's GDP, so it is of paramount importance to ensure that the sector adopts sustainable practices as well as benefits local communities. Keeping this in mind, concepts like Wellness and Mindful Tourism, Cave and Rock Art Tourism, Eco-Friendly Tourism, Rural Tourism, and Agriculture Tourism are being worked on in Madhya Pradesh, along with new innovations like Rural Home Stay, Tribal Trails, etc.
All the speakers emphasized during the webinar that 'regenerative tourism' is part of a larger movement around the world, as tourists are adopting a lifestyle of returning to nature and they also demand from hotels to adopt eco-friendly practices.
The panelists said that a different mindset of tourists has been observed in corona period. Now every tourist wants to get back in touch with each other, community and nature; accordingly, we also have to make changes in the field of travel and tourism.