27th September is celebrated worldwide as ‘World tourism day.’ Ever wonder why? This particular date was chosen as on that day in 1970, the Statutes of the UNWTO were adopted. The adoption of these Statutes is considered a milestone in global tourism.
A tourism day celebration is a symbol of many things. The objective of this day is to raise awareness of the role of tourism on a worldwide level. International tourism day is also used to demonstrate how tourism affects social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide.
World Tourism Day 2019 Theme:
Every year this day is celebrated with a special theme. All the communication, awareness and events are organized according to the annual themes.
- In 2017, the theme was ‘Sustainable tourism’.
- In 2018 the theme was ‘Tourism and the Digital Transformation’.
- This year the theme is ‘Tourism and Jobs: A better future for all’.
Not only the year, but the hosting country also changes every year. And India is hosting the world tourism day 2019, interesting isn’t it?
There will be a series of events, shows will be happening throughout India. Some of them have already started.
Let’s talk about this year’s theme, shall we? Over the years, the tourism industry has flourished worldwide. Traveling is not looked at as only a leisure thing. It’s a real passion and people are pursuing it and making a living out of it. The industry that was limited to a few hotels and immigration offices has now turned into a business worth billions. It has given an employment opportunity to so many people, not only that it has created new career paths for lakhs.
Want to know more about the new-age career opportunities travel can provide you?
India And Tourism:
Indian culture is all about treating guests as Gods. That’s why have a saying ‘अतिथि देवो भव’. India has come a long way when it comes to the development of tourism as an industry. India has so many unexplored places, so many seasons, diverse culture, various languages, and beliefs. This all makes it an amazing combination and hence a unique place to visit. India has always been in a bucket list of many international tourists.
Places like northeast (7 sisters), Nicobar islands are highly unexplored and has many interesting things to see. Even popular places like Kerala has some hidden treasures.
Incredible India Campaign:
A few years back, the Indian government came up with a campaign called incredible India. This series is still going on and many people in India and outside got to know about undiscovered India and they were amazed!
Want to see a few masterpieces from Incredible India campaigns?
Having said that, there are a few things that Indias need to be aware of.
- Safety – According to Forbe’s 2019 data of 20 Most Dangerous Places For Women Travelers, India is ranking at number 9. Not only that according to the data, but It also had poor rankings in intimate partner violence and the gender gap. Sadly, almost 90% of women who are raped in India knew the perpetrator.
We need to change this situation drastically. There are more and more women travelers who have inspired to travel alone and are interested to visit India but these reports can change their minds easily. Women’s safety is a vital issue and every one of us should be at our best behavior.
2. Hygiene and cleanliness –
In India, still, there are many places where the washroom facilities aren’t great. Public washrooms aren’t available or not usable. Women suffer through this problem the most. Even when the government is building all the facilities, maintaining them is our responsibility isn’t it?
Does India Is A Tourist Friendly Country?
Perhaps this checklist will help us self analyze and find out the problems.
Questions to ask ourselves before we declare us as a tourist-friendly country!
1) Are female travelers safe to roam around anytime?
2) Are we empathetic towards tourists during an emergency?
3) Are we into unfair pricing when it comes to foreign tourists?
4) Do we provide tourists necessary guidance when they reach out to us for help
5) Are we friendly towards them when they try to interact with us and know our culture
6) Are there proper laws for the crime against tourists?
When it’s about policies to increase tourism in the country, the government and private bodies working with the tourism board have to answer some important questions –
1) Clean Public facilities
2) Engaging locals as tourist guides
3) Glorifying our culture and tradition eg. Folk music, dance
4) Ensuring the safety of tourists. Starting a helpline no for tourists
5) Exchanging cultural information
6) Educating children from an early age about the importance of tourism, various career paths and responsibilities of a citizen.
Sheroes Of Indian Tourism:
When we are discussing the image of India, how can we forget some sheroes who took it upon themselves and played a major role?
Sushma Swaraj, a beloved politician of India recently passed away. We remember how she made Indians feel proud because of her flawless strategies and quick responses to people in distress. She connected with the younger generation because of her strong twitter game and promptness. Want to see how efficiently she solved many problems?
Type Of Tourism:
The tourism industry has been making progress every day and resulting in different niches. The different types of tourism are
- Religious tourism
- Cultural tourism
- Wellness tourism
- Village tourism
- Films tourism
- adventure tourism
- Eco-friendly tourism.
Not that it’s a new concept and needs any introduction. But nowadays it’s a growing segment and recognized as a very important type of tourism. From Vatican city to Mecca and Badrinath, all these religious hubs are overflowing with visitors every year.
How do wellness and tourism blend together? Well, we do travel for a break, a different atmosphere, and new experiences, right? How about traveling to better your health? Your mind, body, and soul. Wellness tourism primarily focuses on that. It includes wellness retreats that have Yoga, meditation Ayurveda, spas, and massages. There are a growing number of programs that specially focus on your physical and mental health.
What’s the point of traveling if you don’t understand the history, culture, habits of the local people? It makes the experience even richer. Cultural tourism encourages travelers to get out of their comfort zone and interact with the locals, ask them questions and even go ahead and experience a few things. Staying with the locals, sharing their food, knowing the history of the place and their culture, etc.
60-70% of India is villages. There are many beautiful places in the villages that go unnoticed. Village/rural tourism is focusing on more and more travelers getting the authentic experience of villages.
Films tourism is comparatively a new concept. But many travelers get inspired by seeing a few places in some series or films and want to visit that place.
The classic example would be Popeye village in Malta. This little village has grown from its days as a Film Set of the 1980 Musical Production ‘Popeye’ into one of the major tourist attractions on the Maltese Islands filled. They still have several colorful fun activities for all young and young at heart, https://popeyemalta.com
Other popular destinations because of films or TV series are –
- New Zealand: Lord Of The Rings
- Alaska- Into the Wild
- Croatia- Game Of Thrones
- Japan- Lost in Translation
- Tunisia- Star Wars
For all the adventure freaks, now there is a special niche being developed for you.
Beach destinations include activities like Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Fun Tubing. Mountains/ Hill Stations have activities like camping, Paragliding, Cliff and Desserts the activities are Desert Safari, Camel Safari, Camping.
Who isn’t familiar with this type of tourism? It’s the need of the hour and not only that, it shouldn’t remain as one part of tourism but become the future of travel.
Eco-friendly Destinations in India:
- Khonoma Village- Nagaland
- Thenmala – Kerala
- Mawlynnong Village- Meghalaya
- Parambikulam Tiger Reserve
- Lahaul Spiti, Himachal Pradesh
They are consciously making an effort to be eco-friendly and promoting it heavily.
Empathy fuels connection.
And don’t we travel for connections? Connections with new places, new people, new experiences and most importantly connection with ourselves?
Empathetic travel opens new doors, gives many answers and you connect with the place.
But what are the few ways that you adopt today to become an empathetic traveler?
- Immerse yourself deeply into the culture
- Engage with the locals. Learn their language
- Respect and follow the etiquettes and local traditions
- Check if the accommodation you are in is environment-friendly
- Donate or contribute to NGOs that work for the welfare of local communities.
Food is an important part of the culture and by eating local, you are understanding their culture –
- Eating in local places supports local businesses
- Buying and eating local food means you are supporting the farmers and the farmlands of that area
- Eating in local places will also help you build relationships with people, you get to know them better
- Reduce the expense of homestay owners.
Future Of Travel:
With burning down forests and cutting down trees everywhere in the name of development, do you think the future of travel is possible without sustainability? We all have to become more responsible travelers and take care of small little things that can be harmful to mother earth.
Want to be a sustainable traveler?
Stop thinking, start acting.
Simple tips to become a sustainable traveler:
1. Avoid plastic at any cost. Carry cloth bags, steel or glass bottles that you can refill.
2. Locals – Be it a resort or be it, people, make sure your trip is somehow helping the locals. Eat local food, use local transport, etc.
3. Save resources – Do not under any circumstances, wastewater or electricity supply or any other resource. You never know whether there is a shortage of it.
4. Reduce waste – Make sure you don’t pollute the place with any of the waste. If you must throw it in proper dustbins.
Read more about ways to become a responsible traveler.
A Happy World Tourism Day:
At Funstay, we adopt all the above. Not only that, we are committed to making you experience extraordinary things and show you extraordinary experiences. Our co-founders Mahim and Nitin started Funstay with the intention of giving exposure to more and more travelers.
In the end, as Dean Gibson says, ‘We all live on this one strange rock called earth.’ Travel is the only way to explore the unexplored. All the natural phenomena, wonders of the world and more. Let’s experience as much as we can. We would like to wish you all a very happy world tourism day. Keep traveling, keep exploring, keep doing the extraordinary!