World Tourism Day (WTD) is celebrated every year on September 27. The celebration is attributed to fostering awareness with regard to the social, political, and cultural significance of the tourism industry. The most special aspect of this occasion is that it is celebrated at a time when tourism is of relevant importance and interest to almost everyone.
The tourism industry has always been a significant component of the progressing world's economy. It has helped various countries around the world seek success while facing challenges in terms of developmental goals. The day has specifically commemorated the contributions the industry has made to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
The event, the celebration, and the themes of this special day are taken care of by the World Tourism Organization UNWTO/OMT. This is a specialized agency of the United Nations that plays an influential role in forming policies and regulating the operations of the industry. The agency also looks after the industry's development and progress maximizing its benefits and minimizing its negative impacts on society and the environment. The UNWTO recommends the theme of the WTD celebration every year with regard to the growing interests of developing and developed countries.
The theme can be anything like nature, technology, tourism, eco-tourism, travel and transport, sports, and the environment. Further to selecting the perfect theme depending on the need of the specified year, the Secretary-General of UNWTO issues an inspiring message each year to mark the occasion. The essence of WTD is increasing with the tourism industry spreading globally with leaps and bounds. Industrialized and developed countries have produced numerous economic and employment benefits in various fields from the construction industry to agriculture.
The industry has now become a major player in international commerce and simultaneously contributes to the economic progression of developing and developed countries.
Accommodation continues to be the central plank of the development strategy of tourism in India. This is an area where the Government will have to spruce up its coordination with not only the states and union territories but also with private players.
Tourists from foreign countries not only will expect safety and world-class facilities in the hotels they stay in but also close proximity to the tourists’ hotspots.
There is an increasing need to identify, set up, and maintain world-class accommodation facilities near heritage sites, and other tourist destinations in the country.
Tourism is not just about visiting a country. A tourist may visit a country for various reasons. For example, many tourists from different parts of the world see India as a hub of medical tourism.
So is the adventure tourism sector which offers mountaineering, skiing, ice skating, paragliding, and rock-climbing opportunities in some of the country's finest landscapes, seas, and ice-capped mountains. Further cruise tourism which is very popular in the Caribbean, Latin America, and some Southeast Asian countries are gaining a foothold in India's vast coastlines and unexplored jungles and destinations.
Rural tourism and eco-tourism are also good potentials for India's tourism sector. It is high time the Ministry of Tourism focuses more on eco-tourism as it will serve as an educative tool for domestic and foreign tourists in observing wildlife, learning about the environment, and understanding and conservation of the environment. Hence, understanding and solving these issues become all the more important.
For this, the country needs well-chalked-out plans, funds from different sources, adequate manpower, updated technology, round-the-clock concerted coordination between the various ministries and private players, and above all the urge to make India the most favored tourist destination in the country.