The three-day international conference on ‘Rurality, Ruralism, and Rural Tourism: Challenges and Coping Strategies’, organised by the Department of Tourism & Hospitality Management, Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) successfully concluded on Saturday on a high note.
Being seen as a huge initiative for addressing the issues of growth and sustainable development of rural tourism in India, the conference touched upon the importance of youth and the contribution of women in the development of rural tourism.
On Thursday, the international conference, sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, was inaugurated by Vinod Zutshi, former Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Nagesh Singh, former Additional Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India.
Plenary sessions at three-day conference touched upon multiple issues of rural tourism ranging from challenges to coping strategies and from sustainability to employability.
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The conference was attended by country’s eminent academicians and scholars from abroad.
Prof. Tanja Mihalic, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Steve Borgia, founder of INDeco Leisure Hotels, spoke on sustainability and global rural tourism while Ms. Rashmi Sawant, founder of Culture Aangan, Jaipur, brought attention to rural community development.
In an attempt to bring all organisations and individuals engaged in rural tourism under one umbrella, the conference also witnessed the foundation of Association for Rural Tourism in India (ARTI).
Besides, issues like ‘rural tourism governance and community stake’ and ‘design and delivery of the rural experience’ were also discussed. The session focused on methods to create and deliver a rural experience through improvising and applying existing techniques and devising innovative methods. The discussion at the conference also debated on sustainable tourism literature and the various coping strategies to promote tourism in rural areas.
Recognising the revolutionary contribution of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Rashmi Ranjan Choudhury, a Ph.D. scholar from North-Eastern Hill University, Meghalaya, highlighted how rural tourism could be explored through the travel blogger’s perspective. On the other hand, Tania Hossain of Waseda University, Tokyo, highlighting on the current status of rural tourism in Bangladesh, spoke of how rural tourism generated employment bringing prosperity to the local residents. She also explained the tight spots of rural tourism in Bangladesh.
The organiser took utmost care to make this conference eco-friendly and go green with no use of plastic and artificial materials.
Professor Nimit Choudhary, the brain behind this successful conference, extended a vote of thanks highlighting the papers presented and the green conference initiative. The valedictory session was graced by the auspicious presence of Chief Guest Shri. Subhash Goyal, founder chairman, STIC Travel Group of Companies.