World Tourism Day
The World tourism day is celebrated on the 27th of September every year throughout the world. Its purpose is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. The event seeks to address global challenges outlined in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and to highlight the contribution the tourism industry can make in reaching these goals.
It was at its third session that the UNWTO General Assembly decided to institute World Tourism Day, commencing in the year 1980. This date was chosen to coincide with an important milestone in world tourism: the anniversary of the adoption of the UNWTO Statutes on 27 September 1970.
The timing of World Tourism Day is particularly appropriate in that it comes at the end of the high season in the northern hemisphere and the beginning of the season in the southern hemisphere, when tourism is of topical interest to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.
The theme this year is ‘One billion tourists, one billion opportunities’, which emphasizes the impact of the sector on economic growth, job creation and development and work together to maximize the immense potential of tourism to drive inclusive economic growth, protect the environment and promote sustainable development and a life of dignity for all.
But in Bhutan as we celebrate the World tourism day there are growing concerns of the decrease in the international tourist by 14.62 percent as of August this year . The most attractive Thimphu Tshechu failed to draw as many international tourists as possible as compared to last year. The numbers of international tourist who registered for the Thimphu Tsechu is only 3,495 as compared to 5,280 last year as per the records maintained with the Tourism Council of Bhutan.
Some of the reasons mentioned by the tour operators are the recent earthquake in Nepal and the blast at the Bangkok’s Erawan shrine on 17th August that has affected the decrease in the tourist arrival even in the peak season as these are the preferred choice of entry points for tourist coming to Bhutan.
As we celebrate the World Tourism Day today we need to analyze the reasons for the decline in the drop in the nos of tourist even in the peak season for it gives live hood to so many Bhutanese people. The other reason is the increase in the numbers of tour operators or is our tourism industry losing its charm.
But whatever said and done tourism industry contributes a significant amount to the national exchequer in the form of hard currency and provides employment. So may be there may be we need to explore more markets and make our system user friendly to keep tourism industry going.