Environmental challenges associated with tourism, managing mass tourism and conservation of natural resources were some of the issues discussed at a seminar on ‘Sustainable Tourism 2010: Prospects and Challenges for India,' here on Thursday.

Addressing the seminar, organised by Women's Christian College and Kuoni Academy, Director of the Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management (IITTM), Gwalior, Manjula Chaudhary said tourism in the country was growing at an encouraging pace since 2000. “But the key question is ‘developing tourism at what cost?'

“As mass tourism grows, the destinations face the danger of losing their originality. Tourism might provide a livelihood for the native residents of the place but it could be sustained only if the natural resources are prudently used,” she said.

The World Tourism Organisation has developed a framework for sustainable tourism in various countries and India, too, has begun taking initiatives in that direction, Dr. Chaudhary said.

Tamilnadu Tourism Development Corporation Joint Director S. Bhakthavatchalam said that the Tourism Department has classified the tourist-interest places in the State into core, lesser-known and newly identified destinations.

Dr. Chaudhary released a souvenir brought out as part of the two-day seminar. Principal of the college Ridling Margaret Waller and convener of the seminar Titty Elizabeth Phillips spoke. Kapil Srivatsava, Regional Director-Kuoni Academy, presided over the event.

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