Udupi & Mangalore: Udupi & Mangalore Districts are hosting the ”Placexplore Lab” which is a responsible tourism incubator aimed at community-based tourism and experiential travel. The program is being hosted by The Urban Vision, Red Dot Foundation Global, Udupi Tourism and Mangalore City Corporation with support from Vital Voices Fortune Mentoring Program of United States Department of State.
The launch and design hackathon were organized on 31st October and featured micro entrepreneurs from the twin districts working on various initiatives. There were a range of tourism microenterprise initiatives from surf schools, fishing tours, local artisans with coconut, pottery and bamboo weaving crafts, Yakshagana, eco-tours to farm tours. 16 women from National Rural Livelihood Mission who were trained for self-employment through the district Zilla Panchayat office are also part of this start-up lab.
Prathima Manohar, Founder of The Urban Vision and Elsa Marie D’Silva, President of Red Dot Foundation Global shared the details of the incubator program. The cohort of entrepreneurs will receive mentorship and entrepreneurial training as well as a market access platform. Community-based tourism involves giving tourists the chance to meet local people and experience authentic cultural exchange. It is about supporting locally-led projects that have a direct benefit for the local community, as well as travellers. Community-based tourism provides opportunities for local people to bring in income and also to introduce their culture to visitors.
A panel discussion on why community based tourism is crucial to sustainable development saw participation from Dr. Naveen Bhatt, I.A.S, CEO, Udupi Zilla Panchayat; Mr. Akshy Shridhar I.A.S, Commissioner, City Corporation Mangalore; Mr. Clifford Lobo, Assistant Conservator of Forests, Vigilance Udupi with Additional charge of Assistant Director of Tourism, Udupi; Chef K. Thirugnanasambantham, Principal, Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration (WGSHA), Mahe Manipal; Ms. Nidhi Batra, Advisor & Consultant, National Skill Development Mission, Government of India; Skills Specialist, World Bank & Founder, Sehreeti.
Chef. Thirugnanasambantahm & Prof. P Valsaraj and Vageesh Kelkar from WGSHA, MAHE hosted a Food and Beverage Theatre demonstration using local ingredients for Global products like pasta and burger as well as wellness shots and juices featuring local flowers like Blue Pea (Shanka Pushpa), hibiscus and Jasmine. The team featured the importance of GI tagged products Mattu Gulla and Shankerpura Jasmine in loacal cuisine . Team WGSHA in their products demonstration has displayed various products made from Mattu Gulla, beetel leaf, Shankerpura jasmine , star fruit, Jack fruit etc. which may empower the locals in developing the Community Based Tourism. The team presented “Udupi in a Box’ an experiential memento consisting of the products made from GI tagged items from Udupi District. Laxman Mattu and Alphonse Medonsa who are farmer’s representatives of Mattu Gulla and Jasmine respectively were also present. Alphonse Mendonsa has demonstrated the traditional tying of Jasmine flowers. Laxman Mattu has discussed the problems faced by the Mattu Gulla farmers .
This program is supported by various organizations including Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration , MAHE Manipal; Triplaze; Placemaking India; Sehreeti; FSL India and Placemaking India. WGSHA, MAHE will be collaborating with Placexplore Lab to plan and execute gastronomy tourism trail in Shankerpura and Mattu to facilitate Community Based Tourism.
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