In an attempt to bring all organisations and individuals engaged in the rural tourism space under one umbrella, the Association for Rural Tourism in India (ARTI) has been unveiled during the International Conference on Rural Tourism Development held at Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi. Satyajeet Rajan, Founding Member and Director General (Tourism), Government of India, launched the association amidst stalwarts and pioneers of rural tourism world over. On the occasion, Steve Borgia, Founding member and CMD, INDeco Hotels said that ARTI will unite all hoteliers, NGOs and individuals working in the space of rural tourism. “As a task long due, this association is not only meant to hand-hold the tourism initiative, but also share and sustain the efforts. It is also now very important that we influence our governments at both the centre and the state along with NGOs to use rural tourism as a tool to mend the ailing backbone of our villages,” he said.
Other founding members present at the occasion include SK Misra, Chairman, Indian Trust for Rural Heritage and Development and Former Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of India; Sujit Banarjee, Secretary General, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC); MP Bezbaruah, Former Secretary, Ministry for Tourism and Honorary Permanent Representative, UNWTO; Jose Dominic ,CEO, CGH Earth Group; Supratim Raj Basu, Founder & Director, Help Tourism.