The Himalayan Tourism Samman and Expo instituted by PHD Chambers of Commerce and Industry hit a crescendo with the convergence of the tourism industry members from the Himalayan region. The Inauguration of the event was done by Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Trivendra Singh Rawat on Sept. 7 at Hotel Madhuban at Deharadun with much fanfare. The event was presided over by Tourism Minister, Satpal Ji Maharaj.
NGO CHINAR won an award titled Himalayan Sustainability Tourism Samman Award for developing a New Sustainable Tourism Destination in Himalaya, from Liti in Bageshwar to Namik in Pithoragarh district. Pradeep Mehta from CHINAR received this award from Satpal Ji Maharaj.
The Guest of Honor for the event was Shyam Jaju, National Vice President, BJP. Experts from UNDP, ICIMOD, PHD Chambers, Wishlife Research and the other eminent voices of the Industry discussed the various challenges of the industry and the emerging trends. Various suggestions were made to encourage consistent Growth and long term Sustainability of the Industry.
Mehta said: “We have been working on other social issues with the community but as agriculture land is marginal, therefore, tourism is one of the best livelihoods opportunity for the community. We started promoting community based responsible tourism in the area from mid 2017. In December 2017 we celebrated International Mountain Day (IMD) on 11th to popularize this as a new tourist destination.”
The Tourism Minister, Satpal Ji Maharaj shared the various initiative of the Government to enhance the tourism experience of the state. Various new circuits Like Mahabharata Circuit are being instituted to cover important destination’s in the state. A number of other initiatives were announced by the Ministry in the field of Tourism and Destination Development were announced by the Minister.
Mesmerizing renditions of local folk songs and dances were presented by Garhwal and Kumaon artists which enthralled the audience. The ancient Pandav Nritya and Devta Ahwan enthralled the audience.
In the morning session, Narendra Singh Quriyal, Director, Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB), held bilateral discussions with Delegation of Nepal, Hem Raj Bista, Head of Department of Tourism & Forestry, Sudorpaschim Province of Nepal. They discussed areas of mutual cooperation between the neighbors. Various opportunities were identified during the discussions. The delegation from Nepal shared the various initiatives instituted to further the sustainability agenda.
The popular choice awards which recognized excellence in the hospitality industry. A total of 12 categories were awarded including luxury, budget and Dharamshalas. However, it were the Sustainability Awards that saw a lager participation from the industry which buttressed their claims of working towards environment and destination development. At least, 35 awards were given away in the category of popular choice and sustainable tourism, to felicitate and encourage excellent hospitality and performance in the tourism sector.