In a landmark move for sustainable tourism, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has joined hands with India to extend the reach of the “Travel for LiFE” initiative across the Asia Pacific region. This development comes on the heels of India’s successful hosting of the 46th edition of the PATA Travel Mart 2023, held from October 4 to October 6 at the International Exhibition-cum-Convention Centre (IECC), Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
The PATA Travel Mart (PTM), a prominent international trade exhibition in the tourism sector, witnessed the participation of approximately 1000 delegates. It served as a pivotal platform for fostering trade interactions between global buyers and sellers in the tourism industry.
Apart from facilitating these crucial trade interactions, PTM 2023 also featured enlightening knowledge sessions at the PATA Forum and engaged the youth through the PATA Youth Symposium. A standout highlight of the event was the showcase of the “Travel for LiFE” initiative by the Ministry of Tourism, garnering immense interest from the international travel trade community.
Following the Travel Mart, a pivotal PATA Board meeting took place, during which the Ministry of Tourism unveiled the “Travel for LiFE” initiative to the Board members. The initiative received resounding appreciation from the PATA Board, leading to a commitment from the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, to collaborate with PATA in expanding the program across the Asia Pacific region.
This partnership gains significance in light of the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration 2023, made during the G20 summit under India’s Presidency, which recognized the launch of “Travel for LiFE” and expressed support for the development of responsible and sustainable smart destinations. “Travel for LiFE,” initiated by the Ministry of Tourism, aligns seamlessly with the philosophy of the Mission LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment), which was formally launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister on October 19, 2022.
Mission LiFE, a global mass movement led by India, urges individuals and communities worldwide to take action for environmental protection against the impacts of climate change.
To enhance engagement with PATA on “Travel for LiFE” and other tourism-related areas of cooperation, the Ministry of Tourism will establish a dedicated PATA desk. This collaboration marks a significant milestone as the first major international partnership for the “Travel for LiFE” program, following its global launch on September 27, 2023, World Tourism Day. The Ministry of Tourism is already collaborating with UNEP and UNWTO to strengthen the Travel for LiFE program.
“Travel for LiFE” embodies the ethos of “Pro Planet People” and operates on the fundamental principles of living “Lifestyle of the planet, for the planet, and by the planet.” It aspires to instigate substantial behavioral changes among tourists and tourism businesses, contributing significantly to environmental protection while ensuring socio-cultural sustainability.
The program has outlined a comprehensive list of actions aligned with the eight core themes of “Travel for LiFE,” encompassing energy conservation, water preservation, reducing single-use plastic, waste reduction, empowering local businesses and communities, respecting local culture and heritage, consuming local foods, and preserving nature.
Going beyond awareness, the “Travel for LiFE” program aims to inspire tourism businesses to deepen their sustainability practices by adhering to the Travel for LiFE-Signed up badge. Subsequently, these businesses can seek certification at bronze, silver, and gold levels within the “Travel for LiFE” program.
The Ministry of Tourism is collaborating with all stakeholders in the tourism ecosystem, including state governments, industry players, destinations, and tourists themselves, to transform “Travel for LiFE” into a mass movement. This initiative positions India as a leader in promoting sustainable and responsible tourism, leveraging tourism as a powerful vehicle to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
In a significant step forward for sustainable tourism, PATA and India’s collaboration on the “Travel for LiFE” initiative holds the promise of fostering a more responsible and environmentally conscious approach to travel throughout the Asia Pacific region.