New Delhi (NVI): National Tourism Day is observed every year in India on January 25, to make people aware of the importance of tourism and its role in the economy of the country.
The day is also celebrated to create awareness among the community on the significance of tourism and its cultural, social, political and financial value.
India, being a geographically diverse country in culture, heritage, history and festivals, becomes a prime attraction for the tourists and foreign tourists visit India every year and contribute directly to the upliftment of the culture and economy.
The country also has various tourism opportunities, in the fields of heritage, culture, education, nature, sports, rural etc.
In 1948, after India’s Independence, a Tourist Traffic Committee was formed to promote tourism in India for the first time. However, a official department specifically pertaining to tourism was established in 1958 under the Ministry of Tourism and Communication that was headed by the Deputy General in the rank of Joint Secretary.
The Ministry of Tourism is the nodal agency of India which manages various policies, rules, regulations and formulation of laws for the overall development and promotion of tourism in the country.
This year, the theme of National Tourism Day is ‘Dekho Apna Desh’. Owing to the coronavirus, tourism was impacted by the lockdown that was put in the country to curb COVID-19 spread.
Therefore, this day is being observed virtually. In addition, the Tourism Ministry from January 21 to February 22 will be organizing seminars pertaining to the theme, to showcase the diverse culture of our country.
Meanwhile, a report by World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the travel and tourism industry in India contributed to around USD 247 billion to the country’s GDP in 2018. The number is expected to grow to USD 512 billion by 2029.
Apart from this, India houses 38 world heritage sites that includes 30 cultural properties, seven natural properties, and one mixed site (Khangchendzonga National Park).
The country is also home to one of the seven wonders of the world — Taj Mahal. The memorial built by Emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, considered a perfect specimen of Islamic art and architecture.