Sustainable holiday: New policy looks for a green push

Sustainable holiday: New policy looks for a green push

Top sources in the government said the tourism policy forecasts that the sector’s contribution will grow to $1 trillion by 2047 and the industry needs to prepare itself to make the sector sustainable.

With the government forecasting that revenues from the tourism sector will rise about seven-fold by 2047, a new policy aims at making India a sustainable, tourist-friendly destination through various green initiatives, skill development, and engaging with the private sector.

Top sources in the government said the tourism policy forecasts that the sector’s contribution will grow to $1 trillion by 2047 and the industry needs to prepare itself to make the sector sustainable.

“From $150 million currently, the industry is set to grow several times and the policy has a plan to keep the industry sustainable through various green initiatives as well as skill development and other initiatives,” a government official added.

When contacted, Tourism Secretary Arvind Singh said these aspects will require Cabinet approval. “There are various aspects in the tourism policy that have been discussed and it would require further approvals including from the Union Cabinet,” he told The Indian Express.

As part of the green initiative, hotels will also need to bring in changes to ensure that the impact on the environment is minimal, the official added.

The hospitality industry has welcomed the focus on sustainability. “The Indian tourism and hospitality industry has certainly become more conscious of the benefits of sustainable tourism in the post-Covid era. We work tirelessly to reduce our environmental impact by employing sustainable best practices in maintenance, services, water consumption, and using environmentally friendly products aiming for zero waste,” said Kush Kapoor, CEO of Roseate Hotels and Resorts.

Another government official said the sector would require training not only for people employed in the sector but also sensitising the tourists.

“Even today, residents at a lot of tourism destinations have started to complain about filth and nuisances that some tourists create. We would not want to reach a level where these tourism destinations start to block tourists. This would also constitute sustainability that the policy talks about,” said another government official.

Tourism industry says that sustainability will make the industry future-ready.

This is an excerpt from an article by Mihir Mishra and Pranav Mukul, originally published by The Indian Express.

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