National Tourism Day
Most people do not know that India devotes a separate day to tourism. But that's not surprising, because India is a treasure trove of exquisite mountains, forests and seashores. The Indian government has declared January 25 as National Tourism Day to raise awareness about the importance of tourism to the country's economy.
In 1958, the government recognized the importance of tourism to India and created a separate Department of Tourism. The aim of this department was to preserve our national heritage and take care of tourist destinations to preserve their beauty while making them tourist friendly. India also attracts many foreign tourists every year. People from all over the world come and stay for months in 'Incredible India' to explore its scenic beauty. To keep the culture alive and promote tourism, we celebrate National Tourism Day on January 25. Every year this day has a different theme. The day is important as it raises awareness about the importance of tourism and its economic aspects.
The day is observed to raise awareness among the global community about the importance of tourism and its social, political, financial and cultural value. The Ministry of Tourism is the central agency in India that shapes national policy for the promotion and development of tourism. It also coordinates with central and state agencies and the public sector.
What is tourism?
Tourism and travel are often used interchangeably. Travel, however, is the movement of an individual or a group of people from one place to another because of work, health, education, or meeting with family. Tourism, on the other hand, refers to the movement of an individual or group for recreational purposes.
Nothing defines a country and makes it unique like its culture. Seeing its art, experiencing its traditions, tasting its cuisine and strolling through its history is undoubtedly the best way to discover a country. And that is exactly what cultural tourism is all about. Unlike sun and beach tourism, where the main attraction is recreation, cultural tourism essentially has one goal: understanding, in the broadest sense of the word. To know the history, the art and the people of a place, to taste its food, discover its customs and enjoy first-hand a different way of looking at the world.
Although tourism has always been associated with learning in one form or another, the fact is that cultural tourism has experienced tremendous growth worldwide, but especially in Europe, since the 1970s when UNESCO developed the Convention on World Cultural and Natural Heritage along with proposals for its conservation and promotion.
The World Tourism Organisation (WTO) (1985) defines cultural tourism in very general terms as the movements of people intended to satisfy the human need for diversity, to raise the cultural level of individuals and to lead to new knowledge, experiences and encounters.
What are the Advantages?
There are many. Intangible ones, such as preservation of cultural and artistic heritage, local wealth for non-traditional destinations, and the creation of links between different cultures. And tangible ones, too, like the impact on the economy and jobs. The money that cultural travelers spend has a very positive impact, both financially and in creating jobs in sectors such as hospitality, trade, and culture.
The main purpose of India National Tourism Day is to educate people about the benefits of travel and the importance of tourism. India is a paradise for tourists and this trade plays an important role in the economy of the country. This also helps us to remember how diverse India is with its spectacular sea beaches, magnificent forests, majestic mountain peaks and a dazzling dessert.
Celebrations in India:
The tourism industry has been hit drastically in the last two years by the COVID -19 pandemic. The states that are heavily dependent on tourism such as Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Uttarakhand and the northeastern states have suffered huge losses. In 2021, the National Tourism Day was themed 'Dekho Apna Desh' and encouraged Indians to travel to India and discover its beauty. The celebrations were practically held through seminars amid COVID -19 restrictions.
This year, the day is being celebrated in Andhra Pradesh under the theme 'Azadi ka Amrut Mohatsav'. The Government of India has launched the 'Azadi ka Amrut Mohatsav' campaign to mark India's 75th Independence Day. India has many historical sites that tell the story of sacrifice, bloodshed, patriotism and freedom. This year, we all hope that the pandemic ends and we can safely visit these great places to relive the history.