World Tourism Day is celebrated every year on 27 September with different themes; this year’s theme is ‘Tourism and Green Investment’. Every year one country is selected by the United Nations World Tourism Organization to host the Tourism Day; in 2023 ‘Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’ is hosting the events of this important day. Last year, Bali, an island of Indonesia was chosen as the host country for 2022. Today, the situation of war has deepened at the global level; every person is surrounded by some or the other problems, like– inflation, unemployment, disease, epidemic etc. In this era of fear and life crisis, it seems as if happiness and smiles have gone somewhere else. Despite all this, every person should definitely find some time in his life to have happiness, peace and joy coming alive; and tourism is a powerful medium for such wonderful moments. To embrace happiness and peace, one must embark on the world’s itinerary.
Tourism will not only help in bringing back the happy moments in our lives, but it will also play an important role in the social, cultural, political and economic development of any country. Due to many reasons, clouds of economic crisis are looming over the world, in these circumstances the first need of every country is to strengthen the economy, and tourism will play an important role in it. The economy of many countries revolves around the tourism industry. European countries, coastal African countries, East Asian countries, Canada, Australia and India etc. are such countries where the income from the tourism industry strengthens their economy. India attracted many foreign travelers in the past due to its perceived wealth, cultural splendour, resplendent nature and picturesque views; the arrival of the Chinese Buddhist monk Hiuen Tsang in India is one such example. Emperor Ashoka and Emperor Harsh got many constructions done to strengthen the pilgrimage. Indian economics indicates the importance of tourism sector infrastructure for governments, which has played an important role in the past. After Independence, the tourism sector has continuously been a part of five year plans. After the Seventh Five Year Plan, various forms of tourism like business tourism, health tourism and wildlife tourism etc. were introduced in India. India’s tourism sector ranks sixth in its contribution to the world’s gross domestic product (GDP), with a contribution of US$178.0 billion in 2021, as the World Travel and Tourism Council reports.
India has diverse tourism potential and richness, which offers many types of tourism, including—cultural, nature, heritage, educational, sports, rural, eco-tourism etc. This diversity of India makes it a major tourist attraction. Tourism in India has the potential to promote faster, more sustainable and more inclusive growth. September 27 was chosen as World Tourism Day, because on this day the Constitution of the World Tourism Organization was accepted in 1970. Tourism Day is seen as a milestone in the efforts to promote global tourism and the purpose of celebrating this day is to disseminate and spread awareness to the world about how tourism globally makes the world a family. It can help in developing social, cultural, political and economic values, and also increasing mutual understanding. This is the main basis of world peace. Tourism has special importance for countries like India; besides showing off the archaeological heritage or cultural heritage of the country, international tourism is also a source of revenue. The livelihood of many people is linked to international tourism sectors. Today, by looking at countries like India, old and historical buildings are being conserved and promoted in almost all the countries of the world.
India shows off innumerable tourist spots and exotic destinations. Be it grand monuments, ancient temples or tombs, rivers, waterfalls, natural scenic spots; its bright colours and rich cultural heritage have an inextricable connection with its technology-driven present. Tourist spots like Kerala, Shimla, Goa, Agra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Mathura, Kashi are always in the news for their foreign tourists. Every year lakhs of international tourists come to visit India. There are beautiful places for all types of tourists here, whether they are on an adventure trip, a cultural trip, a pilgrimage or a trip to the beautiful beaches. In Delhi, Mumbai, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and many states of South India, people spend months roaming around.
India is famous all over the world for its scenic beauty. In India, people of different sects, religions and castes live together. Due to its rich cultural, historical and natural heritage, India ranks among the major tourist countries of the world. Every state here has supernatural and unique specialties which attract international tourists. India-travel has a special attraction for those tourists who are looking for calm, magical beauty and adventure. For these tourists, the abundant travel literature in India has been presenting itself with a special identity and usefulness. Till now, from the point of view of travel literature, Rahul Sankrityayan’s ‘My Tibet Yatra’, Dr. Bhagwati Sharan Upadhyay’s ‘Sagar Ki Waver Par’, Kapurchand Kulish’s ‘Main Dekhte Chala Gaya’, Dharamveer Bharti’s ‘Dhale Par Himalaya’ and Nehru’s ‘ Aankhon Dekha Russia’, Rameshwar Tantia’s ‘Memoirs of World Travel’, Acharya Tulsi’s travelogue. Like travel literature, my friend Shri Pukhraj Sethia’s ‘Aao Ghoome Apna Desh’ is a poignant and interesting travelogue.
These travelogues contain all the qualities of a travelogue like factuality, geography, charm and spontaneity. Because of these texts, the diversity of the country has attracted many wandering people from across the country and the world. The aim of life of these itinerant men has been to move away from the hustle and bustle of life; and to find the meaning of life in the major tourist destinations. The search for this truth has led him to encounter various historical, natural, cultural and spiritual places. These travelogues not only describe the major tourist destinations, but also give a lively presentation of the people there, the food there, the lifestyle there, the cultural values there and the historical facts there. This India is changing every moment, fresh, multi-dimensional and full of miraculous reality to the extent of magic. It is truly a supernatural and unique experience to encounter the complete diversity, daily innovations and contradictions of India, so that this multi-faceted India can be seen in its multi-dimensional and unique form and the beauty hidden in the layers of rough and tumble can be revealed.
We experience India like a bouquet, in which different types of flowers are arranged. Some flowers have the redness of Kashmir and some have the magic of Kamrup. Some flowers are cherished buds of Punjab, while some others have the fragrance of Shyama of Tamil Nadu. In some there are stories of sacrifice of Rajasthan and in some there is religiosity of Uttar Pradesh. In Maharashtra, Gujarat, West Bengal and other states, cultural unity in diversity can be seen. Similarly, apart from tourism in Jaisalmer, the experience of detailed information about the ancient manuscripts stored there, architecture and Jain tourist places are also unique. The Indian Tourism Department had launched a campaign named ‘Incredible India’. The objective of this campaign was to promote Indian tourism on the global platform, which became successful to a great extent. In the times of shrinking distances, people are curious to know about the outside world also. This is the reason why tourism has become a thriving industry in the world today.
By Lalit Garg,
Writer, Journalist, Column inst