02 Mar 2024  |   08:18pm IST

GoaNext 2024: Panel Discussion Explores Regenerative Tourism and Sustainability

GoaNext 2024: Panel Discussion Explores Regenerative Tourism and Sustainability

Team Herald

In the panel discussion focused on Regenerative Tourism and Sustainability, speakers unanimously underscored the critical importance of promoting tourism that not only celebrates culture but also embraces hinterland exploration, supports local communities and artisans, all while ensuring minimal impact on natural resources.

Panel Moderator Amitava Bhattacharya shared transformative stories from various regions including the North East, West Bengal, and Rajasthan. These stories highlighted the positive impacts of upskilling and scaling up indigenous practices like handicrafts, which have significantly bolstered local economies. Additionally, sustainable initiatives such as zero wastage efforts have opened up new tourism opportunities in these areas.

Maria Victor emphasized the significance of innovative initiatives such as training locals as storytellers, establishing discovery platforms through heritage tours, and promoting homegrown businesses. She urged stakeholders from both the government and private sectors to collaborate more extensively, highlighting the potential benefits for Goa's tourism sector as a whole.

Parag Ragnekar advocated for prioritizing the acceptance of tourism-related activities in rural areas by local villagers. He stressed the importance of making tourism more immersive, where visitors leave with a deepened respect for the land and valuable learning experiences. Ragnekar also emphasized responsible tourism and promoting Goa's unique identity as key components for a sustainable future.

Rupinder Brar highlighted how events such as the Covid-19 pandemic have led travelers to reconsider their priorities, seeking tourism experiences that resonate with the essence of a destination. She emphasized the need for new tourism strategies to prioritize people, particularly local communities who have benefitted from reimagining tourism opportunities.

Jack Sukhija addressed the challenge of locals and tourists competing for the same resources, particularly in destinations like Goa where inbound travelers outnumber the local population. He emphasized the importance of integrating tourism with the circular economy to ensure mutual benefit for both locals and visitors. Sukhija also commended existing initiatives that offer products allowing locals to take home souvenirs, thereby enhancing the overall tourist experience.


Iddhar Udhar