Religious tour operator wins national tourism award

Felix Antoine –

New Delhi: A religious tour operator won the prestigious National Tourism Award in the Best Incoming Tour Operator category during World Tourism Day celebrations in New Delhi on Tuesday.

International Pilgrimage Revolution (IPR), which provides pilgrimage-based tourism across the world, received this award for the category of Rs 10 Crore and over and under Rs 25 Crore by the Honorable Vice President of India, Sri. Jagdeep Dhankhar at the Plenary Hall Vigyan Bhawan attended by Union Tourism Minister Shri G. Kishan Reddy and MoS Tourism Shri Ajay Bhatt, Tourism Secretary Shri Arvind Singh and other senior ministry officials.

Presenting the Tourism Awards, the Vice President said, “This award is not just for your outstanding achievements in the tourism sector, but for your contribution to the economy of the country.”

A total of 81 awards were presented this year highlighting the achievements of the tourism industry in 2018-2019. The Vice President also released India Tourism Statistics 2022, Incredible New Global Promotional Films in India and eBook “GoBeyond: 75 Experiences of North India” on the occasion.

Acknowledging the award on behalf of IPR, the President, Fr Tomy Joeph, a Catholic Priest based in Miao Diocese in Arunachal Pradesh, said, “This award is a great boost to the hardworking staff of the RPI. Receiving this award after a two-year lull due to the pandemic is a good sign of things to come.

While explaining his reason for being in tourism, Fr Joseph said, “There are many ministries within the church such as education, health and social work. Few within the Church consider tourism a ministry, even though the Sacred Congregation for the Clergy has promulgated the document “General Directory for the Pastoral Ministry of Tourism 1969”.

Outlining the values ​​of tourism according to the document, Father Joseph said the goal of the Ministry of Tourism is to transform tourism time into a time of eternal salvation, ‘appreciating the beauty of God in creation, the unity of family human being, its social transformation and elevation, promoting solidarity with the rest of the universe, and the restoration of the human person”.

“The ministry of tourism helps overcome segregation among people by encouraging to appease social prejudices and it diminishes racial divisions and promotes the unity of the people of God,” said Father Joesph, who immersed himself in this Ministry of Travel in 2007.

“Bringing a group of Germans to India was the turning point. They felt safe being accompanied by a Catholic priest, which made me think about helping people get around hassle-free, on the basis of the teachings of the Church,” said Father Joesph who founded the IPR in 2015 with the help of a few priests and lay people and supported by the local ordinary.

Congratulating the IPR, Bishop George Pallipparambil of the Diocese of Miao, who became its main patron from 2018, said, “It has not been easy to get through the days of covid. But they managed with diligence and dedication. I wish the IPR team much success and flights to greater heights in the days ahead.

With its head office in Delhi and branches in Munich, Bombay, Delhi, Cochin, Guwahati and Manali, IPR has helped 92 groups from different countries to travel to India and nearly 3000 Indian tourists to travel to India and India. foreigner before the pandemic brought the tourism industry to a halt. The company took 150 groups of pilgrims to the Holy Land. He also brought 13 Germans to northeast India for a week-long trip to Kaziranga National Park in Assam, Majuli Island, Sibsagar Rang Ghar and the Golden Pagoda of Namsai, the Miao Tibetan settlement, Jairampur World War Cemetery and Namdapha National Park in Arunachal Pradesh in 2019. .

Expanding its scope beyond travel, IPR has now ventured into event management, destination weddings, meetings, conventions, legal advice and assistance to NGOs and institutions across the country.

“This award is recognition of our team’s hard work and validation that we are on the right track,” said Sunu Jomon, IPR Deputy Manager, Airline Ticketing and James KM Manager for Inbound Operation, who were there to receive the price on behalf of the company.

With Covid-19 becoming a thing of the past and life returning to normal, this award for a Church-based tour operator bodes well for pilgrimage tourism which brings a new dimension to the ministry of the Church, said Father Joseph.