Chandigarh-Mohali, Sept 27, 2020: The University Institute of Hotel and Tourism Management, Panjab university organized a webinar in collaboration with the TIGR2ESS project on the theme of United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) “Tourism and Rural development”.
Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University Prof. Raj Kumar in his inaugural address spoke about the importance of tourism. He insisted the participants focus on the opportunity during this period of time i.e to use the virtual platform in order to reach the masses to promote tourism and to increase the diameter of Atam Nirbar Bharat. The prevailing tourism was mostly focused around mass tourism and the main ingredients of this tourism were Sun, Sand, Sea, Culture & Heritage, MICE, Business and Events. The nature of tourists was holidaying, participation and business. But all these aspects are now seriously affected by the havoc created by COVID19. “As a large number of people are working from home only, I have experienced that due to more time spent on social media, people have started sharing more about their local heritage resources. In one way or another, they have now started to understand the importance of the local heritage and rural tourism” added Prof. Rajkumar
Jeevan Lal Verma was the lead speaker of the webinar, where he shared his onsite experiences of promoting Rural Tourism at Kanda Village in Uttarakhand. “I got the idea of volunteer tourism while I was attending a workshop in 1988, where few foreign tourists were looking for volunteer services”. Mr. Verma every year invites various volunteers to the Kanda and nearby villages in Uttarakhand to stay and work for the society. “Generally tourists want to interact with local people and stay with them. We have to just provide some basic facilities to them. This can act as an additional income for the rural population. In this way, tourism can enrich the lives of local people”
Another speaker Mr.Ankit Sood, Eco-Tourism planner emphasized the role and importance of rural tourism and how it stood by the pandemic in the recent past. He also insisted on the promotion of eco-tourism for sustainable development. He has also shared the efforts being undertaken by the Himachal Government in promoting community-based tourism activities.
Prof. Ramanjeet Johal, Principal Investigator of the TIGR2ESS project shared the details of the project which is transforming India’s green Revolution by research and empowerment for sustainable food supplies in collaboration with Cambridge University. She shared the details as well as the importance of the project.
On this occasion, the department launched an online business idea competition ‘Imaging Tomorrow’. This competition will invite ideas in the field of tourism and hospitality. This competition is being organized in collaboration with Indian Tourism and Hospitality Congress. Prof. Prashant Gautam shared the details of this event.
Earlier Dr. Anish, Director UIHTM presented a formal welcome address. Dr. Lipika shared the details of activities, which the department organized to commemorate world tourism day. In the end, Dr. Arun Singh presented a vote of thanks.
By Anupreet Kaur.