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National Tourism Day

  • 25 Jan 2023
  • 5 min read

For Prelims: National Tourism Day, Eco-tourism, Ministry of Tourism in India, Gross Domestic Product, Unsustainable tourism, Swadesh Darshan Scheme, Dekho Apna Desh Initiative, National Green Tourism Mission, National Tourism Day, World Tourism Day.

For Mains: Status of the Tourism Sector in India, Challenges Related to the Tourism Sector, Initiatives Related to Tourism in India.

Why in News?

National Tourism Day is celebrated every year on January 25 to recognize India's natural beauty and raise awareness about the importance of tourism for the Indian economy.

  • India is one of the top tourist attractions for visitors from all around the globe. Hence tourism holds so much importance in India, both in cultural and economic terms.

What is the Status of the Tourism Sector in India?

  • About:
    • India provides a diverse portfolio of tourism, including eco-tourism, cruises, business, sports, educational, rural, and medical travel.
    • The Ministry of Tourism in India is responsible for formulating the country's national policies for developing and promoting tourism.
      • It also collaborates with local, national, and international organisations.
  • Contribution to Economy:
    • India ranks 6th according to World Travel and Tourism Council in terms of Travel & Tourism total contribution to GDP in 2021.
      • Travel & Tourism contributed 5.8% to GDP and the sector created 32.1 million jobs, which is equivalent to 6.9% of total jobs in 2021.
    • Also, India is currently ranked 54th in World Economic Forum’s Travel & Tourism Development Index (2021).
    • According to Global Data, international arrivals to the country is forecast to reach 7.2 million in 2022 and 8.6 million in 2023.
  • Challenges Related to the Tourism Sector:
    • Lack of Training and Skill Development: Given that the tourism industry is a labour-intensive sector, it is undeniable that practical training plays an important role.
      • But over the years, availability of trained manpower has not kept pace with growth of the tourism sector in India.
    • Overexploitation of Resources: Unsustainable Tourism often puts pressure on natural resources through overconsumption especially in Himalayan regions of India, where resources are already scarce.
      • Unsustainable tourism also affects local land use, resulting in soil erosion, increased pollution, and loss of natural habitats of endangered species.
    • Lack of Infrastructure and Security: It is a major challenge for the Indian tourism sector. It includes a lack of multi cuisine restaurants, basic health facilities, public transport and hygiene and safety & security of tourists.
    • Initiatives Related to Tourism in India:

How can Sustainable Tourism be Promoted in India?

  • Responsible, Inclusive, Green and Hospitable Tourism (RIGHT): To ensure better accountability, all stakeholders involved in tourism management need to be governed by a common umbrella of regulations.
    • It is important to promote green tourism with minimal disturbance to the natural ecosystem and maintain sustainable infrastructure so that warm hospitality can thrive.
  • Unified Tourism System: An extensive market research and evaluation exercise can be undertaken in order to identify desired tourist destinations across the country and major markets and segments.
    • It can be followed by developing a digital unified system (promoting the essence of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat), to map these places and promote them through social media.
  • One State One Tourism Mascot: State animals can be used as advertising mascots for Tourism Departments of different states as an innovative tool to promote tourism education, especially among children
  • Presidency of G20: India has an opportunity to position itself as a major tourism destination during India’s presidency of the G20 (December 2022- November 2023).
    • India’s age-old dictum of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ will come to the fore as it welcomes delegates from different countries.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Q.1 How can the mountain ecosystem be restored from the negative impact of development initiatives and tourism? (2019)

Q.2 The states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are reaching the limits of their ecological carrying capacity due to tourism. Critically evaluate. (2015)

Source: ET

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