Fri. Jun 21st, 2019

Serena Hotels Celebrates World Responsible Tourism Day in Gilgit-Baltistan

Girls in Khaplu, Ghanche, walk to raise awareness about the importance of responsible tourism

Girls in Khaplu, Ghanche, walk to raise awareness about the importance of responsible tourism
Students in Khaplu, Ghanche, walk to raise awareness about the importance of responsible tourism

PT Report 

Gilgit, November 6: Serena Hotel’s Gilgit-Baltistan Collection celebrated World Responsible Tourism Day today, 6th  November 2013,  as an “Official Supporter” reinforcing its commitment to operating as a responsible tourism business and its dedication to bringing about positive change within the tourism industry in Pakistan.

Students holding placards at the Khaplu Palace, Ghanche
Students holding placards at the Khaplu Palace, Ghanche

Sometimes confused with many other types of tourism, Responsible Tourism, as defined by the 2002 Cape Town Declaration for Responsible Tourism in Destinations is tourism that “creates better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit.”

Since 2005 individuals, companies and organizations around the world have been celebrating World Responsible Tourism Day (WRTD) to assist build a more solid and sustainable future for the travel and tourism industry.

Students collect garbage from a street in the village in Shigar, Skardu (Baltistan)
Students collect garbage from a street in the village in Shigar, Skardu (Baltistan)

Gilgit-Baltistan is home to a number of diversified cultures, ethnic groups, languages, various backgrounds and rich in heritage. This year all four of Serena hotels in Gilgit-Baltistan; Gilgit Serena Hotel, Hunza Serena Inn, Serena Shigar Fort and Serena Khaplu Palace participated in WTM WRTD for the second time and held responsible tourism events in their respective regions with the overriding theme of promoting a cleaner environment and for all communities to aim understand the conservation of natural and cultural heritage and its impact on the local community. Each hotel highlighted the day and supporting WRTD with a clean up the local area and therefore educate the local people of the importance of not littering, reductions in our water flow where necessary and day session with the Schools children on conservation of cultural and heritage awareness.

A session in front of the Khaplu Palace, Ghanhce (Baltistan)
A session in front of the Khaplu Palace, Ghanhce (Baltistan)

Serena Shigar Fort and Serena Khaplu Palace was opened for School Children and women from the local community to enjoy their cultural museums and understand the conservation of natural and cultural heritage and its impact on the local community. Serena Khaplu Palace received an Award of Distinction in the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards 2013 for cultural heritage conservation, through such awards points to the cultural richness and plural heritage of Gilgit-Baltistan.

Speakers addressing a gathering held in Gilgit
Speakers addressing a gathering held in Gilgit

Awareness walk was organized today with Mehnaz Ftaima Montessori School, Gilgit, Abruzi Model School Shigar and BUDWA School Khaplu and Hassigawa Memorial Public School Hunza, the walk was participated by Mr. Hussain Ali, Deputy Secretary, Tourism Gilgit-Baltistan, Mr. Saadat Ali Mujahid, CEO FM 99 & KPN, Tour Operator Association Gilgit-Baltistan members, Assistant Commissioner Shigar, Chairman Town Management Khaplu, Lawyers, Rani Shah Jehan (Khaplu) Mr. Hamid Qadri, General Manager Operation North, Deputy Commissioner Hunza along with the Green Team Members of Gilgit Serena Hotel.

Children presenting their posters at a session in Gilgit Serena
Children presenting their posters at a session in Gilgit Serena

At the hotels, these school children gave a speech and debate on environment issues in Gilgit-Baltistan. Mr. Hussain Ali, Deputy Secretary Tourism GB, Mr. Saadat Ali Mujahid, CEO FM 99 & KPN Mr. Ali Anwar President, Tour Operator Association Gilgit-Baltistan Pakistan, Mr. Hamid Qadri, General Manager Operation North Serena Hotels and Mr. Asghar Khan, Assistant Director Responsible Tourism & Sales Serena Hotels addressed on the occasion.

Students attending a walk in Karimabad, Hunza Valley
Students attending a walk in Karimabad, Hunza Valley

To begin the education process Serena Hotels has not only engaged stakeholders of the tourism industry and local dignitaries but has all engaged school children in World Responsible Tourism Day. Serena Hotels distributed numerous cloth bags amongst school children to ensure that their family members stop using environmentally damaging polythene bags.

Polythene bags (plastic) are one of the biggest pollutants in Gilgit-Baltistan
Polythene bags (plastic) are one of the biggest pollutants in Gilgit-Baltistan

Moving forward from World Responsible Tourism Day Serena Hotel’s Gilgit-Baltistan Collection encourages everyone to join them on their mission to ensure communities of Pakistan to assist in promoting a more sustainable future.

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