Today is World Tourism Day; the day which each of the countries on earth celebrates in common by launching infrastructural programs and announcing development plans. Tourism is an ever-evolving and thriving industry that contributes to the economic wellbeing of every nation and generates lakhs of employment opportunities in different niches – aviation, travel, hospitality and food. Tourism holds a mirror to the diversity of culture across geographies. Evidently, the day deserves a grand celebration the world over.
India is a booming travel and tourism market in Asia. Expected to be worth Rs. 95 billion by 2015, tourism is a vehicle of economic and employment growth in the country. The Union Ministry of Tourism has recently taken many initiatives to improve the travel and tourism infrastructure in every state of the country. Internationalization of Agartala and Imphal airports, cruise liner service across 17 beaches between Mumbai and Porbandar, the plan to transform “Khau gallis” into food hubs in Pune, the proposal for 17 new airports in small cities, visa on arrival facility, and “I respect women” badge for Indian tourism personnel are some of the most remarkable initiatives.
Today, India celebrated World Tourism Day in different places and different ways. Indian Eagle holds a composite picture of the celebration that swept across the country.
The Tourism Department of Karnataka in collaboration with the Nilgiris District Administration celebrated World Tourism Day by welcoming the tourists on visit to Ooty, one of the best hill stations in the state, with flowers and sweets. Several groups of local college students, tour operators and tourist guides greeted domestic as well as foreign tourists in a traditional way. Their act of cleaning Ooty Lake is a good effort to make tourists aware of the need to keep tourist spots clean.
Varanasi joined the nationwide celebration of World Tourism Day by conveying a hearty welcome to tourists in the city. The Tourist Department of Uttar Pradesh in collaboration with several academic institutions offered a taste of Indian hospitality to domestic and foreign tourists at different spots in the holy city. The students of Banaras Hindu University, Institute of Tourism Studies, and History of Art and Tourism Administration participated in the program, on this occasion.
The Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation which recently hit headlines for Diwali celebration at Times Square in New York City this 22nd September organized surprise welcome for tourists in Mumbai. As a mark of the World Tourism Day celebration, the tourists from across the globe were offered free entry to the water park in Karla. The gifting of souvenirs to the guests staying in the MTDC resorts made the celebration memorable. Moreover, the State Tourism Department announced the launch of a tourism photography and videography competition in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and other prime cities. A whopping cash prize of 39,000 rupees will be given to the winners in different categories of the competition.
The Tourism Government of Rajasthan celebrated World Tourism Day in the capital city Jaipur, with a unique mission in the public eye. “Prevent Terrorism & Promote Tourism” has been the theme of the celebration this year. According to the Tourist Guides Association of Jaipur, terrorism is the bane of tourism in the country, and it will conduct some programs in association with the Union Ministry of Tourism, to get the voice in support of tourism and in protest against terrorism heart all over the state. “Ballet on Kargil”, a program on patriotism and a lecture on the history of Jaipur added to the celebration.
The Government of West Bengal observed World Tourism Day with cheers at Digha, a seaside destination accessible from Kolkata. The lamps were lit and a dove was released to inaugurate the celebration. The visitors from Kolkata were greeted with rose buds and received wholeheartedly. Musical programs were held to entertain the crowd. The attending government officials announced to launch new adventure sports at Digha and other seaside destinations.
The State Government of Andhra Pradesh has organized a special travel and tourism exhibition in order to celebrate World Tourism Day in the capital Hyderabad. The exhibition kicked off today and will run for the next two days. The tourism units of other states including Karnataka, Goa, Pondicherry and others have joined the exhibition.
The celebration was a glittering ceremony in other cities of India such as Goa, Ahmedabad, Imphal, Indore and Bengaluru, too. On World Tourism Day, we would like to share with you one of our favorite travel quotes by Mark Twain:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”