BENGALURU: Experts in the tourism sector have called for implementing sustainable tourism in creative ways in India. The Mizuho India Japan Study Centre at Indian Institute of Management, Bengaluru, organised a panel discussion, titled ‘Reinventing tourism in a post-pandemic world: Lessons from India and Japan’, in which Prof Kazem Vafadari, division head of tourism and hospitality, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Japan, and Dr Nimit Chowdhary, professor of tourism and hospitality management, Jamia Millia Islamia, spoke on the importance of integrating a city’s uniqueness into its infrastructure as part of sustainable tourism.
“If people visit a place for its authenticity, it becomes important for them to ensure they do not damage that authenticity,” said Prof Vafadari. Taking Jaipur as an example, Dr Chowdhary said, “When visitors come to the ‘Pink City’ Jaipur, they experience it in the railway station itself. The key to a sustainable tourism business is to come up with creative ideas, even if they are simple old-school ones.”
The duo highlighted the need to collaborate with locals, especially those in rural areas, for tourism development. “If development comes from outside, it will not be sustainable. As tourism policy makers, we must come up with creative ways of helping the industry while protecting local communities,” said Prof Vafadari.
Dr Chowdhary also said that responsible tourism is must, wherein visitors respect the places they visit. “Better yet is regenerative tourism, where people leave the places they visit in a better condition,” he added.