In India, the National Tourism Day is celebrated every year on 25 January. It was established by the Indian government to raise awareness of the importance of tourism for the growth of the country’s economy. India is a diverse country with various cultures and a rich history and is admired by tourists from all over the world.
In view of the current pandemic, the thought of travel for relaxation would seem like a difficult image and everything is going virtual nowadays. Moreover, World Tourism Day was celebrated as a virtual event, so, the National Tourism Day also hopes to go virtual. During this situation, Ministry has been organizing a series of webinars from 21st January to 22nd February under the overall theme of Dekho Apna Desh (DAD), showcasing the diverse culture, heritage, destinations, and tourism products of the country.
National Tourism Day 2021
National Tourism Day was established to promote the tourism industry and recognize its sequel to the growth and sustainability of tourist destinations and thereby to the local communities. This year, tourism is expected to have a boom after the pandemic situation ceases. Let us know more regarding tourism in India.
National Tourism Day 2021 Theme
National Tourism day 2021 theme is ‘Dekho Apna Desh’. The Ministry of Tourism has been organizing seminars around the theme beginning from January 21 to February 22, 2021.
Tourism and Economy
India is a diverse nation, rich history, cultural and geographical diversity make the country one of the most popular tourist destinations among foreign travelers. Certainly, this diversity of India itself makes it a prime attraction for tourists. It offers various forms of tourism, like- cultural, heritage, cruise, educational, business, sports, rural, adventure, polo and golf, medical, and eco-tourism.
There are 38 World Heritage sites in India that are recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as of August 2019. These are places of importance of cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972.
Tourism plays a huge role in boosting India’s economy. According to reports, the World Travel and Tourism Council calculated that tourism generated Rs.16.91 lakh crore (US$240 billion) or 9.2% of India’s GDP in 2018. According to statistics, over 7.7% of Indian employees work in the tourism industry. Every year, the country is visited by millions of foreign tourists. It reemphasizes the fact that tourism needs to be taken seriously. For the same reason government is taking great efforts to make sure that the country gets cleaner, more amenities and facilities are introduced at railway stations and public places, and general safety measures are undertaken at popular spots.
In 2019, India was ranked 34th on the world travel and tourism competitiveness index moving up 6 places from 2018.
National policies for the promotion and development of tourism are designed and carried out by the Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry of Tourism is the nodal agency for the formulation of national policies and programs and for the co-ordination of activities of various Central Government Agencies, State Governments/UTs, and the Private Sector for the development and promotion of tourism in the country. This Ministry is headed by the Union Minister of State for Tourism. The present Minister of State (IC) is Shri. Prahlad Singh Patel.
Visa Policy in India
India needs citizens of most countries to hold a valid passport and apply for a travel visa at their local Indian embassy or consulate, prior to the visit. Tourists can apply directly by mail or in person, or through their local travel services company. India has recently implemented an online method for citizens of 168 countries to apply for an e-Tourist Visa.
Nationals of countries like Bhutan, Maldives, and Nepal don’t require a travel visa to enter India. And the citizens of Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, DPR Korea, Jamaica, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Nepal, South Africa, and Uruguay are not required to pay a fee when acquiring an Indian visa.
As a measure to boost tourism, the Indian Government executed a new visa policy in November 2014, allowing tourists and business visitors to obtain a “visa on arrival” at 28 international airports, by acquiring an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) online before arrival, without having to visit an Indian consulate or visa center.
World Tourism Day
Since 1980, the United Nations World Tourism Organization has celebrated World Tourism Day as international observance on September 27. The date was chosen in the context that on the same day in 1970, the Statutes of the UNWTO were adopted. India too participates in the celebration of the UN World Tourism Day. The theme for World Tourism Day 2020 was ‘Tourism and Rural Development: A better future for all’, and India was the host country.
National Tourism Day Quiz 2021
1. When is National Tourism Day in India celebrated?
Ans. January 25th
2. Which state got six National Tourism Awards in the marketing category?
3. India’s rank in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum is
4. How many UNESCO World Heritage sites are there in India till 2020?
5. Which was the last added site from India to the UNESCO World Heritage list?