RT Pathfinder Category

Overview: The Responsible Tourism Pathfinder is a unique category introduced this year to celebrate practitioners whose outstanding contribution to tourism has changed the narrative of inclusive travel in India. In choosing to celebrate individuals rather than institutions, we are breaking format to applaud and acknowledge the power of dynamic and passionate practitioners, whose vision transcends their individual enterprises to embrace and impact the macro through the creation of replicable models, their role in advocacy and shaping policy.

And for the Responsible Tourism Pathfinder Category, the jury has chosen not one but two remarkable individuals from over 30 nominees recommended by a closed group of over 60 public officials, journalists, tourism practitioners and travel industry insiders/leaders from all the States and Union Territories of India.

Parag Rangnekar

Parag Rangnekar’s passion for the environment is awe inspiring. It has led him to engage with a mind-boggling array of interventions- ranging from bird conservation to impacts of mining and eco-tourism. Credited with setting-up Goa’s first tourism cooperative, Parag also has the unique distinction of discovering the Goan Shadow Dancer Dragonfly, and documenting for the first time in the state, 17 species of butterflies and 64 dragonflies.

Pema G Bhutia

Pema G Bhutia is a founding member of the Khangchendzonga Conservation Committee (KCC), a pioneer in environmental interventions and ecotourism in Sikkim and other parts of India. Over the last two decades Bhutia with other members of the KCC have built Yuksum community-run homestays, trained tourism service providers in ecological management, built waste management & recycling systems. In 2009, they developed a zero-waste trekking trail to mitigate the impacts of climate change and mass tourism in the Kanchenjunga National Park region.