Kerala declaration calls for responsible tourism practices

March 24th, 2008 - 9:35 pm ICT by admin  

Kochi (Kerala), March 24 (IANS) The Kerala Declaration signed at the end of the second International Conference on Responsible Tourism here Monday calls for strengthening best practices. The declaration asks those committed to Responsible Tourism to challenge those who pay only lip service to the cause, and also those who are making a difference to report their contribution in a transparent, honest and robust way so that Responsible Tourism can be identified by the consumer.

“We call upon those involved in the movement for Responsible Tourism to share their experiences of what works and what doesn’t, to redouble their efforts to use tourism to make better places for people to live in and for people to visit and to engage with people, in industry, in communities and across government to achieve Responsible Tourism in destinations,” reads the declaration.

The declaration was signed by Harold Goodwin of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism - India (ICRT) and V. Venu, secretary of Kerala Tourism - the two organisations that held the meet.

Speaking on the occasion, Kerala Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said his vision was to create a broad consensus on adoption of responsible tourism practices by all stakeholders.

“Opportunities should be shared with local people. We should join hands with local self-government bodies like the village council to create durable institutions that will take the Responsible Tourism agenda forward. Women’s self-help groups like Kudumbasree are testimony as to how tourism can be used as a platform for local economic development,” said Balakrishnan.

Venu said Responsible Tourism practices are crucial for the state given the increase in the number of tourists to Kerala.

“Kerala’s efforts to involve a participatory, sustainable initiative providing linkages between local communities and tourism businesses have been strengthened by the insights we have received at the conference,” said Venu.

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