At the heart of Outlook Responsible Tourism Initiative's journey is the intent to celebrate trailblazers and unsung heroes of responsible tourism across the country. We hosted the 8th edition of the Outlook Indian Responsible Tourism Summit & Awards amidst the land of the Neelakurinji, in Ooty, on 17th March 2023, in association with the Department of Tourism, Tamil Nadu, and the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
Every year, as we continue to host the Awards, we are reminded of the wind beneath our wings, all the inspiring stories and people, and the wonderful community spirit we're surrounded by. Our speakers and winners are the heroes amongst us, and they inspire us to set higher benchmarks for ourselves. The event was embraced with a heartwarming folk dance by the wonderful ladies of the village of Tarnarmandu, about 30km from Ooty, giving us a glimpse into the life of the indigenous Toda community in the Nilgiris.
K. Ramachandran, Honourable Minister of Tourism, Tamil Nadu, graced us with his presence and shared a heartfelt message on how Tamil Nadu actively integrates local and planet-friendly tourism policies across the state. Dr B. Chandra Mohan, Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism, Tamil Nadu, was also present at the event. Sandeep Nanduri, MD, Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation, shared his thoughts on why Tamil Nadu is committed to promoting responsible tourism and creating value destinations.
The venue for the Summit & Awards, FernHills Royal Palace, was built in 1844. It is the erstwhile summer palace of the Mysore royals. Our guests shared what they valued about India on a message board. And a special immersive experience, 'Sights and Sounds' of India, by the Museum of Art and Photography, was on display at the event.
A session on 'Building Micro-tourism Opportunities in the Northeast' was held with Rita Banerji, Project Director, GreenHub, & Founding Director, Dusty Foot Foundation, Subung Warner Phulari, Manager GreenHub Responsible Tourism Fellowship, and Vivek Kumar Singh and Taju Pujen, GreenHub Responsible Tourism Fellows.
CB Ramkumar, Vice Chair Global Sustainable Tourism Council and Co-Chair for IRTA 2023, spoke about the thorough and transparent adjudication process for the Awards. Indranil Roy, CEO Outlook Group, talked about why the Outlook Group continues to host the Indian Responsible Tourism Summit and Awards year after year to celebrate people and their inspiring journeys.
The evening ended on a high note with the announcement of the Outlook Indian Responsible Tourism Award winners.
Indi Glow, Arunachal Pradesh
Sustainable Leadership: Homestays
Gold - H2O House, Chamba, Himachal Pradesh
Silver - The Retreat, Bhimtal, Uttarakhand
Silver - Jacob & Klooster Farms, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Ones to Watch - Raptor's Inn, Tal Chhapar, Rajasthan
Ones to Watch - Isoti, Pauri Garhwal, Uttarakhand
Sustainable Leadership: BnBs & Guesthouses
Gold - Ullaar, Lansdowne, Uttarakhand
Silver – Surwahi Social Ecoestate, Kanha, Madhya Pradesh
Silver - Poothali, Kasargod, Kerala
Ones to Watch - Kisan Eco Farm, Thane, Maharashtra
Ones to Watch - Wind Chime, Mulshi, Maharashtra
Sustainable Leadership: Hotels
Silver - Bari Kothi, Azimganj, West Bengal
Ones to Watch - The Lodge at Wah, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh
Ones to Watch - Aashraya on the Ganga, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
Sustainable Enterprises in Eco-fragile Landscapes
Gold - Unexplored Bastar, Chattisgarh
Silver - Darjeeling Walks, West Bengal
Silver - Make It Happen, Goa, Diu & Tamil Nadu
Ones to Watch - Oddessemania, Northeast India
Ones to Watch - Baswant Honey Bee Park, Maharashtra
Sustainability Champions: Grassroots Heroes
Gold - Muzammil Hussain, Ladakh
Silver - Mani Mahesh Aurora, Jammu & Kashmir & Uttarakhand
Silver - Dharmen Momin, Meghalaya
Juror's Award - Anurag Karekar, Maharashtra & the Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Sustainability Champions: Pathfinders
Gold - Indi Glow, Arunachal Pradesh
Silver - Lokesh Ohri, Uttarakhand
Silver - Amitava Bhatt