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ICRT India Network

January 8, 2021
Harold Goodwin
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The WTM Platform for Change exists to share practical solutions, solutions that work for destinations and businesses,  solutions that make better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit – in that order.

Those that win in the India regional Responsible Tourism Awards are automatically entered for the WTM Responsible Tourism Global Awards.

The 2022 Awards are open for nominations.  Unusually there will be ten categories in 2022

  1. Decarbonising Travel & Tourism,
  2. Sustaining Employees and Communities through the Pandemic,
  3. Destinations Building Back Better Post-COVID,
  4. Increasing Diversity in Tourism: How inclusive is our industry?
  5. Reducing Plastic Waste in the Environment
  6. Growing the Local Economic Benefit
  7. Access for the differently-abled as travellers, employees and holidaymakers.
  8. Increasing tourism’s contribution to natural heritage and biodiversity
  9. Conserving water and improving water security and supply for neighbours
  10. Contributing  to cultural heritage

If you know of businesses and destinations doing good work and taking responsibility, please nominate them and encourage them to apply. The Judges can only select from amongst those that apply.


The ICRT India network was founded on 5th July 2017 India’s partner of the international  ICRT. Our objectives are to

  • assist Responsible Travel Practitioners or start-ups, who are focused on doing positive work in the field of Responsible Tourism in India;
  • promote the idea of Responsible Tourism

We promote the concept of Responsible Tourism as defined in the Cape Town Declaration and work to implement and develop Responsible Tourism across India.  India has huge potential to develop Responsible Tourism and there are many parts of the country, which can offer some of the most unique experiences and opportunities for travellers to understand local life and to immerse in the rich traditional and cultural heritage. In addition, they are also contributing to the local economy which creates stronger positive relationships between the guests and the hosts.

India has emerged as one of the leading destinations for Responsible Tourism in the World but we are not achieving the recognition globally nor nationally that we deserve. With Professor Harold Goodwin of the Responsible Tourism Partnership we have established the India Responsible Tourism Network if you support the objectives and practices of Responsible Tourism please join our Facebook group.

भारत पूरे विश्व में ‘रिस्पोन्सिबल टूरिज्म’ (ज़िम्मेदार पर्यटन) की दिशा में अग्रणी देश के रूप में उभर रहा है, लेकिन अभी हमें राष्ट्रीय एवं अन्तर्राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर वह पहचान नहीं मिल पा रही है, जो पर्यटन के इस सकारात्मक स्वरूप को मिलना चाहिए। “अन्तर्राष्ट्रीय सेंटर फ़ोर रेस्पॉन्सिबल टुरिज़म“ केअध्यक्ष प्रोफेसर हेरोल्ड गुडविन के मार्गदर्शन में हमने ‘इंडिया रेस्पोंसिबल टूरिज्म नेटवर्क’ की शुरुआत की है।अगर आप भारत देश में रेस्पोंसिबल टूरिज़म के उद्देश्यों और उसकी गतिविधीयों का समर्थन करना चाहते हैं, तो कृपया हमारे फेसबुक ग्रुप से जुड़ें।

Businesses and destinations from all over India have long done well in the World Responsible Tourism Awards. There is a full listing here 

India is now leading in the development of Responsible Tourism, not least because of the way in which a new national tourism policy and strategy is nearing implementation. It will support and promote Responsible Tourism across the nation, building on the work of the individual states in empowering local government through the panchayats to work with communities and businesses at the local level to make tourism better for communities, businesses and tourists. The introduction of Responsible Tourism in Kerala in 2008, the learning from the initial experiments which has enabled the Responsible Tourism Mission to roll out the approach across the state and achieve impact at scale, has encouraged replication. India’s success with implementing Responsible Tourism and demonstrating the efficiency and efficacy of the approach has demonstrated the important role of national, state and local government in making tourism better for all stakeholders.

24th September 2021 on World Tourism Day

June 8th 2020 lecture presented at Amity University

Harold Goodwin gave the Odisha Knowledge Hub Nov 2017 lecture on Responsible Tourism : P & C Dept., Govt. of Odisha

Rupesh Kumar and Harold Goodwin were honoured by the
Government of Kerala for their work on Responsible Tourism
Trivandrum January 2020

However, the way to promote such tourism practices is only possible when efforts from public and private sectors are collaborated to create something for the betterment of the local communities. If each effort, works independently without any consultations from each other, there is no collective responsibility created in Tourism. ‘’Responsible Tourism is only possible when each stakeholder takes the responsibility of its impacts’’.

There are many good examples of positive work in the field of Responsible Tourism in India. ‘Kerala Responsible Tourism’, has been working positively towards the aims of helping the local communities and ensuring the benefits from Tourism reaches the wider community. There are such similar examples of Responsible Tourism initiatives in India, like Village Ways, which has been working in several parts of the country to develop and promote Village Tourism and create positive impacts through positive Responsible Tourism practices. Since there are many such ideal concepts, which exist in India and which can set as a good source of guidance and assistance to new initiatives, the ICRT India network will help link such experiences to those who are genuinely interested in making a difference to spread the movement of Responsible Tourism in India. ICRT will also try and bring together public and private sectors to promote joint efforts towards the growth of Responsible Tourism in India.

The Outlook Responsible Tourism Initiative by India’s leading publishing company, the Outlook Group, has also been making an effort, since 2015, to mainstream ethical tourism in India, and build a sense of community among responsible travel businesses in the region. Apart from their annual awards and conference with global experts, they run regional workshops, consumer awareness campaigns on print, digital and TV platforms, and research projects, among others.

The India Responsible Tourism Awards, are part of the World Responsible Tourism Awards licensed by WTM, London and organised under license by Outlook India. Harold Goodwin chairs the judges and supervises the organisation of the awards.

ICRT India will work closely with ICRT internationally and will take their guidance on the different programmes and projects, which they undertake from time to time.

The founding members of ICRT India network are Soity Banerjee, K. Rupesh Kumar and Manisha Pande. They will be responsible for all work undertaken by ICRT India.

Contact the ICRT India.   india@icrtourism.org


Founder Members of the ICRT India Network 

Harold Goodwin  www.haroldgoodwin.info

Harold in World Travel Market’s Responsible Tourism Advisor, proving the content for WTM London, Arabian Travel Market, WTM Africa and WTM Latin America. He chairs the judges and oversees the World Responsible Tourism Awards and the family of awards associated with them in Africa, India and Latin America. Harold has worked as a consultant and researcher for the UN World Tourism Organization, the UK’s DFID, the EU, the World Bank, KPMG, Deloitte & Touche, the International Finance Corporation, the Aga Khan Development Network and the International Trade Centre; and for a host of tour operators including the Association of Independent Tour Operators and the Federation of Tour Operators/ABTA.

Harold is a director of the Responsible Tourism Partnership (RTP) which works to develop links between UK tour operators and responsible tourism businesses and organisations in destinations. The RTP runs the series of conferences which began in Cape Town on Responsible Tourism in Destinations. He co-founded ResponsibleTravel.com with Justin Francis, although he is no longer a shareholder or director he watches the development of the company with paternal interest and distance. In 2007 he created Irresponsible Tourism.info to provide a space for whistleblowing and debate.

Harold was Professor of Responsible Tourism Management at Leeds Metropolitan University 2007-2013 and Professor of Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University November 2013 until his retirement on July 31st 2016. Harold is now an Emeritus Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Rupesh Kumar

responsiblerupesh@gmail.com  rupesh@rtkerala.com  Mobile: +91 8111805554 , +91 7025 125 285

Rupeshkumar Kumaran Nair (K.Rupeshkumar), has played an eminent role to develop Kerala as one of the leading Responsible Tourism Destinations in the world.   He was an active participant in the mass movements against the unscientific and unethical development of Tourism in Kerala, especially in Kumarakom. He was also a part of the mass activities that demanded alternative tourism activities in Kumarakom becoming part of the Kerala Responsible Tourism movement from 2007.

Rupesh has since worked as State Responsible Tourism Project Coordinator, Destination Coordinator of Responsible Tourism, State Level Responsible Tourism Field Coordinator,  Saparya Tourism Project Coordinator, Alapuzha Backwater tourism master plan Field Coordinator, Kumbalangi and Alapuzha UNDP marketing plan coordinator., and as the Kudumbashree Consultant and Resource person ( Women Empowerment project by Govt: Of Kerala), People’s Planning campaign Resource Person, and member of the monitoring committee of National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme& National cleanliness mission. Rupesh is currently the State Responsible Tourism Mission Coordinator of Kerala Responsible Tourism Mission.

Rupesh developed a new tour package model Village Life Experience as part of Kerala Responsible Tourism which converts traditional livelihood activities as Tourism products. These packages have been recognized by the Govt. of  India,  as the best Rural Tourism Initiative. Drawing on this experience he developed PEPPER (People’s Participation for Participatory Tourism Planning and Empowerment through Responsible Tourism) ,

2008-9 Kumarakom was awarded a national award for the Best Responsible Tourism Initiative in India by Govt. of India while he was the Destination Coordinator of Kumarakom RT project and the PATA Gold & Grand award. Responsible Tourism activities under the leadership of K.Rupeshkumar has also achieved UNWTO Ulysses Award for Innovations in Public Policy and Governance, PATA Gold & Grand awards, PATA CEO Challenge Award, WTM Highly commended award, and other 6  National awards.  Kerala RT Mission won the Outstanding Achievement Award in the Indian Responsible Tourism Awards.

Manisha Pande

manisha.pande@villageways.com, + 91 9869005642

Joined the family business of running a hotel inside the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary in 2002. In 2004, Manisha and her husband along with other friends co-founded ‘Village Ways’ to help sustain the villages of the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand , which were under serious threat of outmigration due to lack of livelihood opportunities. Currently holding responsibility as  ‘Managing Director’ in Village Ways, Manisha has been working in the field of Responsible Village Tourism for the last 13 years.  She has closely supervised the development of ‘Village Tourism Enterprises’ in villages of Indian Himalayan region (Uttarakhand state), Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Kerala and also the overseas project in Nepal.  She has also has been working closely with the marketing team based in UK to link the Village Enterprises to the market, which is crucial for the sustainability of these projects. She is also involved in holiday product designing, pricing, sales and other commercial aspects to help the overall administration of the business. Under the guidance of ICRT UK (Professor Harold Goodwin), she has been working on impact studies and has developed a simple system for collection of data from the communities who are engaged in tourism activities. These studies have helped to show the economic impacts up to household levels. Manisha has also been working on government projects related to consultancy for the development of community projects and also on training.  Village Ways has set up a training centre in the Binsar Sanctuary (Uttarakhand), where training is provided to those interested in engaging responsibly in tourism activities in their villages.

Himanshu Pande
himanshu.pande@villageways.com +91 9411105450

He was the founding visionary of Village Ways, has played a major role in the development of the company and expansion to new community partners. He himself is from Binsar, Uttarakhand, where Village Ways was conceived to assist the local communities who were under serious threat of outmigration. Since then, Himanshu has dedicated himself to developing new village tourism enterprises throughout India and in Nepal. He also provided assistance to develop the village Tourism enterprises in the villages of Simiens in Ethiopia to help the communities in understanding the concept of rural tourism and the importance of shared benefits within the members of the participating community.

Manoj Kumar Singh
Manoj Kumar Singh heads the department of Skill and Training in Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board which comes under the Tourism Department, Government of Madhya Pradesh. He is playing a key role in developing the Responsible Tourism Mission in the State of Madhya Pradesh, India. Keeping futuristic demand of tourists and ensure community participation, Manoj Kumar Singh has initiated the “Responsible Tourism Mission Policy” in the state. This will ensure the sustainability of beautiful sites, create livelihood opportunities for local communities, promote local art and craft, and conserve the environment. It will also make tourists act responsibly towards local communities, tourism destinations and the environment. The Responsible Tourism Mission policy will guide the development of tourism activities in the state. He is also heading some essential projects of the tourism sector like “Safe Tourism Destination for Women”, Community managed Rural Tourism & Tribes Tourism and Solid Liquid Waste Management etc. Dr Manoj Kumar Sing’s experience ranges from academia to heading the district and state-level responsibilities of the District Poverty Initiative Project (DPIP) of Rural Development Department funded by the World Bank for more than 13 years and Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board, Department of Tourism and Madhya Pradesh Institute of Hospitality, Travel & Tourism Studies Bhopal.

© 2020 The Responsible Tourism Partnership 
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