12 September 2023, Chandigarh: To rejuvenate Punjab’s commitment to sustainable and responsible Tourism while introducing unique and profoundly successful Eco and Farm Tourism, an important session on this unexplored area of tourism was organized during the first of its kind ‘Tourism Summit and Travel Mart-2023’ at Amity University, Mohali. This session on Eco and Farm Tourism highlighted the state’s rich agricultural heritage and natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for eco and farm tourism enthusiasts across the globe.
While setting the tone of this important session, Moderator Mr. Prasad Rebbapragada said that the State Government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann is committed towards the holistic and sustainable development of the tourism sector, boosting job creation and opening new vistas towards economic prosperity of its people. The aim of this session is to promote lesser-known destinations, eco-tourism and adventure tourism experiences.
Participating in this session CEO of Kikkar Lodge Amarindar Singh Chopra said that Punjab has had a revered relationship with nature reserves and these reserves are important for co-existence of mankind and wildlife as well as aqua culture in the state. He said that the state is celebrating ‘Punjabiyat’ everyday through its sustainable ‘Eco and Farm Tourism’. He said that Punjabiyat is the main driving force and we must showcase of Rural Punjab to global ambassadors.
Meanwhile, Founder of Citrus County Harkirat Singh Ahluwalia said that Farm Stays and Home Stays have become popular choices for those seeking authentic cultural encounters. He said that Punjab lives in villages and today in the inaugural session of this Summit, the Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann stressed upon the importance of each village which have imprints of Martyrs. He said that the tourists wanted to spend vacations in peaceful areas in the contemporary world and the state has witnessed the same. He also informed that farm tourism creates jobs for women too.
Pandurang Taware, Innovator for Agri tourism while expressing his views, emphasized to promote agriculture tourism in a big way, which has the potential to increase farmers income manifold. He also stressed on to promote women farmers and identify potential of Agriculture Tourism. Speaking about other aspects of Agriculture Tourism, he asked to start Courses on Agriculture Tourism under skill development and Educational tour.
However, Travel Writer Bindu Gopal Rao, while lauding Punjab Government’s policy, said that Eco-tourism aims to strike a balance between conservation, local community aspirations and sustainable travel. She said that after the pandemic, life lifestyle of people changed comprehensively, and everyone is aware about environmental sustainability. She said that the state has immense potential in Eco-tourism.
Sharing his experience, Founder of Hansali Organic Farm Pavial Gill said that the state has enormous prospective in farm stay tourism but the connectivity with last mile is very much important in this regard. The state has a rich agricultural legacy which needs to be explored. Sustainability Officer, RARE India Shobhana Jain gave a brief glimpse about the peaceful life of the state.
The session was attended by Financial Commissioner Forest and Wild Life Vikas Garg, Director Tourism and Cultural affairs Varinder Kumar Sharma and Additional Director Rakesh Kumar Popli.
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