Kerala Honoured with Global Responsible Tourism Award 2023 for Promoting Sustainable and Inclusive Tourism
Kerala, India - In a proud moment for the 'God's Own Country,' Kerala has been honoured with the prestigious Global Responsible Tourism Award 2023. The recognition comes in acknowledgement of Kerala's commendable efforts in promoting sustainable and women-inclusive tourism initiatives through its Responsible Tourism Mission. This award, instituted by the Responsible Tourism Partnership and the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT), is a testament to the state's commitment to responsible and eco-friendly tourism practices. Kerala emerged victorious in the 'Best for Local Sourcing - Craft and Food' category, underscoring its dedication to nurturing local communities and traditions.
A Landmark Achievement
Kerala, known for its pristine natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, has been a frontrunner in embracing responsible tourism practices. The Global Responsible Tourism Award 2023 is a testament to the state's unwavering commitment to preserving its natural and cultural treasures while fostering economic growth for its local communities. The award is not just an honour for Kerala but also a blueprint for sustainable and inclusive tourism that can be adopted by regions worldwide.
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Recognizing Sustainable and Inclusive Initiatives
The Kerala Responsible Tourism Mission (RTM) was selected for this prestigious award in recognition of its exemplary efforts in promoting sustainability and inclusivity in the tourism sector. The State Tourism Minister, P A Mohammed Riyas, emphasized that the award is a recognition of the state's dedication to linking women-led small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to tourism activities and effectively marketing indigenous products. This initiative not only empowers women entrepreneurs but also enriches the tourism experience for travellers seeking authentic local encounters.
A Joint Triumph
The international recognition was bestowed upon Kerala alongside Eswatini, the former Swaziland, a landlocked nation in southern Africa known for its eco-friendly Ngwenya Glass. This joint triumph emphasizes that responsible tourism is a global imperative and transcends geographical boundaries. Kerala's RTM and Eswatini's sustainable practices serve as beacons of inspiration for the entire tourism industry.
A Model for Sustainable Tourism
Kerala's success in responsible tourism is built on a model that harmoniously conserves nature and tangible as well as intangible heritage. This approach has not only bolstered conservation efforts but has also resulted in significant benefits for local communities. Minister Riyas highlighted that Kerala's RTM has been implementing women-friendly tourism projects with the support of UN Women, the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and women empowerment.
A Repeat Success
This is the second time that Kerala's RTM has been recognized with the Responsible Tourism Global Award. Last year, the Water STREET project implemented in Maravanthuruthu, Kottayam district, earned the same honour. The award jury commended the RTM for its commitment to promoting the ethnic and traditional foods of each locality through tourism. Tourists can now savour authentic local cuisine in the homes of Kerala's residents, providing not only a memorable culinary experience but also generating additional income for the local communities.
The Global Responsible Tourism Awards
The Global Responsible Tourism Awards are divided into six categories, catering to Africa, India, and Latin America regions. These categories include:
Best for Tackling Plastic Waste: Recognizing initiatives that actively address the problem of plastic waste, reducing the environmental impact.
Best for Meaningful Connections: Acknowledging programs that create meaningful interactions and experiences for tourists and local communities.
Best for Local Sourcing - Craft and Food: Highlighting efforts to promote local craft and food industries, supporting the region's cultural and economic growth.
Addressing Climate Change: Recognizing initiatives that combat climate change and promote sustainable practices.
Best for Diversity and Inclusion: Celebrating projects that foster diversity and inclusion within the tourism sector.
Best for Nature-Positive Tourism: Honoring endeavours that promote positive interactions with nature and contribute to its preservation.
Kerala's Global Responsible Tourism Award 2023 is a testament to the state's commitment to sustainable and inclusive tourism. It underscores the importance of responsible tourism practices that not only benefit local communities but also conserve the natural and cultural heritage of a region. Kerala's success serves as an inspiration for the rest of India and the world, showcasing the positive impact of responsible tourism initiatives.
Global Responsible Tourism Award
God's Own Country
State Tourism Minister
small and medium-sized enterprises
Category - Indian Travel