NEW DELHI, March 18, 2020 : MakeMyTrip (NASDAQ: MMYT), India’s leading online travel company, launched a responsible tourism project on 18th March 2020, aimed to eliminate single-use plastic from Neil Island, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Andaman Islands. In line with its vision to promote sustainable tourism, MakeMyTrip Foundation has rolled out an integrated program that will not only provide necessary infrastructure and resources but will also help tourists visiting these pristine islands make responsible choices.
With support from the administration, hotel partners and local communities, the 360-degree integrated program will contribute towards maintaining the ecological balance on the Island, most-frequented by Indian tourists. Known for its white sand beaches, magnificent flora and spectacular coral reefs, Neil Island today, faces an environmental threat with accelerated inflow of tourists. The project at Neil Island includes the setting up of convenience facilities at the beach, including showers, toilets, and locker rooms, water ATMs, distribution of reusable bottles to tourists, waste management with manpower allocation, plastic scavenging drives and capacity building initiative with the local tourism community to ensure promotion of green activities.
The Andaman administration has already taken some significant steps to reduce the usage of single-use plastic, including banning of less than two litre plastic bottles. Speaking at the unveiling of facilities at Neil Island, Chetan B Sanghi, Chief Secretary, Anadaman and Nicobar Islands, said,“Tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the economic growth of Andamans and we are confident that environmental initiatives from industry players will help steer tourism growth on a truly sustainable path. MakeMyTrip is making a commendable effort to holistically promote Responsible Tourism in Andamans and we appreciate the endeavour to involve local communities as part of this project.”
Deep Kalra, Founder and Group Executive Chairman, MakeMyTrip, said, “Travel is a force for good and we need to ensure it makes net positive contribution to people and places. As a large business that helps millions travel, we also have the responsibility to do our bit to protect the destinations we love and admire for generations to come. We are excited to roll out this ambitious project in Andamans to make a timely start in ensuring that we can help grow tourism responsibly in one of the fastest growing domestic tourism destination in India.”
As part of its cleanliness and awareness drive in Andamans, MakeMyTrip Foundation carried out a plastic scavenging drive across different locations like Bharatpur Beach, Laxamanpur Beach, Sitapur Beach and Natural Bridge in Shaheed Dweep and collected over 500 kilograms of waste. The drive was carried out by school children, employees of local hotels, members of MakeMyTrip foundations, panchayat members and the local police.
Last year, as part of its continued commitment to promote responsible travel, MakeMyTrip Foundation successfully supported plantation of one million trees, covering 2,350 hectares of land in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand and Udaipur districts. MMT Foundation has also set up eco-cafes in Dras, Kargil in Ladakh. The foundation is running a first-of-its-kind plantation project in partnership with Sonam Wangchuk’s Himalayan Institute of Alternatives (HIAL) in Ladakh.