World Tourism Day

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

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.

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