Govardhan Ecovillage at “Incredible India”
Govardhan Ecovillage at “Incredible India – Leaps and bounds in Niche Tourism Offerings”
Govardhan Ecovillage was invited recently to the Seminar on “Incredible India- Leaps and bounds in Niche Tourism Offerings” on 18 April 2017 at India Expo Centre & Mart, Greater Noida. The seminar was organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and was part of the 3rd Global Exhibition on Services (GES) which is going on from 17 – 20 April 2017. GES was jointly organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India; Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
On behalf of Govardhan Ecovillage, Dr. Sumanta Rudra addressed the session on “Niche Tourism: Challenges and Opportunities” As travel across the globe has gathered momentum, the desire to experience new segments of tourism has increased. Dr. Sumanta explained that how Govardhan Ecovillage is a unique place where all various segments of tourism are facilitated at one place itself. Learning how to do organic farming, making the mud brick blocks, getting exposed to various green technologies in Govardhan Ecovillage through Eco-tours gives one the experience of Eco-Tourism. The in-house Govardhan School of Yoga along with its various workshops, retreats and residential courses attracts lovers of yoga from around the world to come and learn. The 12 forests of Vrindavana, Govardhan Hill along with several lakes with the river ‘Yamuna’ meander gently through provides pilgrims to visit here. Through milking the cows, working with the bulls, learning the art of Vedic Cooking and trekking the Sahayadri mountain ranges one can experience adventure. The Amenities at Govardhan Ecovillage consisting of an auditorium, seminar halls and meeting rooms makes it a right choice for tourists looking for places for Meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE). All these combined with Ayurvedic Spa, World Class Residential quarters and swimming pool makes Govardhan Ecovillage an irresistible place to visit.
Dr. Sumanta also explained the various challenges which Govardhan Ecovillage had gone through to come up to its present level. Govardhan Ecovillage is surrounded by tribal villages where 55% of population live below poverty line, there is rampant illiteracy and 50% households have no running water. He explained that the Niche Tourism practiced at Govardhan Ecovillage is sustainable and socially responsible. Hence the profits made out of Tourism practices are utilized towards organizing a holistic Rural Development Program for these villages. As of now Govardhan Ecovillage is working with 10 villages and has provided more than 320 tribal families sustainable means of livelihood, Skills training to more than 1000 women via female self-help groups, water resources for both irrigation and drinking, training to more than 4500 farmers from all over Maharashtra in Organic farming and various other Rural education initiatives to educate the village children. He also informed that due to the responsible Niche Tourism Practices, Govardhan Ecovillage was recently awarded the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) award.
The other members present in the session were, Ms Nalini Gupta, Head-Costa Cruises India & Managing Director, Lotus Destinations, Mr Subhash Goyal, Member Tourism Advisory Council, Ministry of Tourism, GoI and Chairman STIC Travels Pvt. Ltd., Apollo Hospitals, Mr Arun Nanda Chairman, CII National Committee on Tourism & Hospitality & Chairman, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. The session chair was Mr. Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India and the concluding remarks were given by Mr Sudhanshu Pandey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India
GES is a forum for India and all participating nations to demonstrate their capacities in the services sector and forge mutually beneficial partnerships across the world. First held in 2015, GES has attained the stature of an annual flagship event to augment international trade in services not only for India but for many countries in the world. The large-scale global interest and participation seen in the first two editions of the event speaks for the need and utility of such a forum to enhance services sector cooperation amongst countries. Global Exhibition on Services was inaugurated by Hon’ble President of India on 17 April, 2017. Dr Mahesh Sharma, Hon’ble Tourism & Culture Minister was the Chief Guest for inaugural session of GES on 17 April.
Govardhan Ecovillage is a farm community and retreat centre spread over a scenic landscape of 100 acres at Galtare, Wada situated 110 km North of Mumbai, India. Since its inception in the year 2003, Govardhan Ecovillage has made steady progress in Organic farming, Cow protection, Rural Education, Rural development, Alternative energy, Eco friendly constructions and Sustainable living. Govardhan Ecovillage illustrates ‘Simple Living & High Thinking’ – a principle which is so succinct, yet profound, and formed the basis of life in the bygone age of wisdom.