Serena Hotels celebrated World Responsible Tourism Day today on 5th November 2014, as an “Official Supporter of World Travel Market (WTM) supported by UNWTD” reinforcing its commitment to operating as a responsible tourism business and its dedication to bringing about positive change within the tourism industry in Pakistan.
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.
This year Serena Hotels Pakistan participated in World Travel Market World Responsible Tourism Day for the third time and held responsible tourism event at Attabad Lake with the overriding theme of promoting “Keep Clean Natural Environment” for all communities, stakeholders and tourists to aim understand the clean water of natural and its impacts. This lake was formed on 4th January 2010, with a massive landslide at Attabad Hunza blocked the flow of River Hunza, creating a natural dam and burying 20 people beneath it. The rising water created 25 Km long lake, destroyed 25 Km of the Karakoram Highway (KKH), displaced 500 household, submerged 12,900 kanals agriculture land, 1,87,000, Fruit / fruitless trees, 832 cattle sheds, 121 business structures (hotels, restaurants, shops, saw machines, workshops, grinding mills) 450 barns and other structures and affected the 25,000 population of Gojal Valley Upper Hunza. Now access to Gojal valley and China is only by boats and Rafts crossing this lake, many International, National and Local tourists are visiting this lake for leisure but unfortunately the business community transporting goods from China and transferring by boat to Attabad Spillway, local shopkeepers at spillway both side of the lake and boat operators dropping boat engine used fuel in the lake are polluting this beautiful lake. Watch video of increased pollution in the Attabad Lake here: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=717122981657378
The Green Team of Gilgit Serena Hotel and Hunza Serena Inn and Gilgit-Baltistan Rescue Team 1122 highlighted the day supporting WTM WRTD with a cleanup demonstration of Attabad Lake collected empty bottles, plastic bags and other waste for the environmental awareness campaign to the boat operators, tourists and commuters on the importance of clean water not littering the lake with waste items. A session was hold at Shishkat village, attended by the Magistrate Gulmit Gojal Hunza, Ex District Member Gojal, Rescue Team 1122, Boat operators, Students and teachers of Lee Rosy Model School Shishkat Gojal. Mr. Mir Alam Magistrate Gulmit Gojal Hunza, Chief Guest of the day address to the audience and stress for support from business community to join them for clean environment and highlight such environment issue of the region and the local administration will full support them for such issues. Raja Shahbaz Khan, ex member of Hunza / Nagar District, highlighted that fisheries and Wildlife department should band on hunting of migratory birds and trout fish in Attabad lake and appreciate for the effort of Serena Hotels organize such awareness session for the business community and school children. Mr. Asghar Khan, Assistant Director Responsible Tourism & Sales Serena Hotels addressed on the importance of World Tourism Day and the support from the community.
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 for tourism.