Kerala‘s widely-recognised Responsible Tourism (RT) Mission has achieved global recognition by earning a coveted spot on the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) prestigious list of case studies. This accolade further highlights the state’s innovative approach towards grassroots development while championing tourism aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The UNWTO commended Kerala Tourism for its exemplary commitment to upholding the SDGs while fostering the growth of the travel industry within the state. Kerala’s strategy involved leveraging local resources and products to bolster RT destinations, effectively aligning with and contributing to the realization of the SDGs. A dashboard showcasing Kerala Tourism’s website details the state’s comprehensive activities in this regard.
Congratulating the State RT Mission, Tourism Minister P.A. Mohamed Riyas said Kerala’s initiative in promoting sustainable and inclusive tourism has been earning international acclaim for a while now. “Tourists across the globe are watching our activities with great interest. The UNWTO’s recognition will further inspire us to promote eco-friendly tourism,” he noted.
Kerala’s RT Mission stands distinguished among seven G20 nations, alongside Maharashtra, the other Indian state recognised for its Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve project. These two Indian case studies join a select group of seven G20 countries featured on the UNWTO list, including Mexico, Germany, Mauritius, Turkey, Italy, Brazil, and Canada.
Kerala’s inclusion in the Special Dashboard stems from the state’s commendable tourism promotion endeavours, meticulously aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This recognition also reaffirms Kerala’s commitment to sustainable tourism practices on a global platform.
Department of Tourism Secretary K. Biju said the international honour will inspire the state to scale-up the RT model and expand it to more areas. “This will also boost local industry,” he added. Kerala Tourism Director PB Nooh, while recalling the state’s hosting of the first-ever Responsible Tourism Global Summit at Kumarakom in February this year, said that the UNWTO Citation had strengthened the presence of ‘God’s Own Country’ on the world tourism map.
Additionally, the UNWTO citation comes close on the heels of the Kerala RT Mission getting the Global Award, acknowledging the sustainable and women-inclusive initiatives successfully promoted in the state. The award, instituted by the Responsible Tourism Partnership and International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT), is in the ‘Best for Local Sourcing – Craft and Food’ category.
Kerala RT Mission State Coordinator K. Rupeshkumar said these honours endorsed the relentless efforts made by the State RT Mission towards overall socio-economic development amid its tourism-boosting initiatives.