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World Tourism Day

By Nepali Patro (Sudan Bhattarai Upadhyaya) in International Days .
July 1, 2020

“Atithi Debo Bhava”. In Nepal, this saying is very famous. Which means the guests are our god. Since time immemorial, Nepal has a tradition of treating guests as a god. In the older times, also people used to travel from one place to another with the purpose of business and other motives. There were no hotels or lodges at that time therefore; people used to stay at the house where they arrive at dusk. The system was known as “Baas Basne” or in various places where there were no houses, there were makeshift empty houses for the purpose of the traveler. The traveler normally used to carry food supplies necessary for them for the entire trip that would be needed. Thus, they used to pass their night at these kinds of houses and make their food and continue their journey the next day. The time has changed and now these activities which have become international movements to know the country, people culture, etc. is now known as Tourism. World Tourism Day.

Since 1980, the United Nations World Tourism Organization has been celebrating World Tourism Day as international observances or events on September 27. This date was chosen on the day in 1970 when the Statutes of the UNWTO were adopted. The adoption of these Statutes is considered a milestone in global tourism. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness on the role of tourism within the international community and to demonstrate how it affects social, cultural, political, and economic values worldwide. As the UN has a theme for an event typically, the subject of the day in the year, 2017 was “sustainable tourism”. In 2018 the theme was changed to “Tourism and the Digital Transformation” and in the year 2019, the theme was “Tourism and Jobs: a better future for all.”

The late Mr. Ignatius Amaduwa Atigbi, a Nigerian national, was the one who proposed the idea of marking September 27 of every year as World Tourism Day. In the beginning, his voice seems to be unheard of, but later in the year 2009, he was finally recognized for his contribution. The color of World Tourism Day is Blue.

At its Twelfth Session in Istanbul, Turkey, in October during the year 1997, the UNWTO General Assembly decided to designate a host country each year to act as the Organization’s partner in the celebration of World Tourism Day. At its Fifteenth Session in Beijing, China, in October 2003, the Assembly decided the following geographic order to be followed for World Tourism Day celebrations: 2006 in Europe; 2007 in South Asia; 2008 in the Americas; 2009 in Africa and 2011 in the Middle East, etc. and this tradition of designating a host country still is done so that a country can boost its economy from Tourism.

Nepal has been a hotspot for tourism since the beginning of 1960 when the Hippie movement was at its peak. Tony Hagen made it more popular by visiting all parts of Nepal and later even writing a book about Nepal. The tourists used to come in their own van, car, bikes, or even small bus at that time, but Nepal was still new to tourism, and the airport was not running constructed adequately for international flights till 1980. The flower generation as the Hippies were known used to cross Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and enter Nepal lots of time and a lot of them. When the airport was officially known as Tribhuvan Airport, and the grass runway (also known as Gaucharan: Place for cows to graze grass) was re-strengthened in 1981 with the concrete runway, did the track start officially as a Tribhuvan International Airport.

With beautiful Himalayan ranges extending from east to west on the northern part of the country, five of them taller than 8000 meters, Nepal is a tourist destination also known as the roof of the world Because of Mount Everest. The green mountain ranges, it’s culture, and biodiversity is one of the factors among many Nepal has been famous as a tourist destination. Weather is mountain climbing, trekking, paragliding or just a small hiking Nepal offers everything for a Tourist who comes to Nepal. Tourism is one of the biggest industries in the world.

Human beings by nature are one of the most curious and wandering creatures, as travel and observation are undoubtedly the best way to acquire knowledge of anything that is new. Traveling helps in the purpose of not just only observing the new country, foreign, society, and culture but, it gives a whole new perspective to the traveler. There certainly is a difference between a traveler and a tourist, even though these two words seem to be of the same meaning. But, whether it’s a tourist or traveler for a country like Nepal, both are important sources of foreign income.

When speaking of tourists, tourists can be Foreign tourists as well as Local Tourist. The need to promote local tourism in Nepal is also one of the works that are very important to be done by the state and the stakeholders. We all can be Tourists, and it necessarily does not mean we have to go abroad for tourism, we can also travel to new places within our own country, visit places that are out of the place where one lives. Tourist destinations for Local Tourism can be Pokhara, Bandipur, Lumbini, or Nagarkot, the closest one if someone is living in the valley of Kathmandu. Actually any new place can be a Touristic area or place one just needs to visit it, explore it and enjoy it. Traveling to a new place, spending some time outside the sphere of one’s house gives a lot of peace of mind and zeal to live life with a new feeling and new energy. Yes, there is a debate about how much luxury is needed for tourism from time to time, but one should understand tourism not just as a factor of luxury but the way of learning new things in life. Economically also lots of places can be visited, giving a new impetus and knowledge to one’s mind and body.

Life is a book, it is not so narrow to be confined to one place alone, one can make it broader by traveling and living life in a broader context. Traveling means exploring and understanding new things, moving to new places not visited before, and experiencing new possibilities. Travels and explorations in the past of people like Marco Polo, Vasco da Gama, Captain Cook, Christophembus, etc. not only spread a wave of culture, civilization, and development around the world, but also discovered many new places in the world.

Tourism without denial is one of the ways to earn foreign currency needed for the country. In contrast, it also creates employment, and it is an excellent source of public and private income. At the same time, Tourism fosters cultural exchange and enhances the image of the entire nation. But, still, we can say Nepal has not been able to take full advantage of tourism as it really can. There are lots of places still unexplored or just accessible to local people, if these places can be made Tourist friendly there are lots of possibilities in the tourism area. At the same time, while organizing the Visit Nepal year, the Tourism Board, Nata, and other bodies related to Tourism must understand the fact that the Visit Nepal rally held in Tudikhel or on the premises of NTB does not convey the message that there is Visit Nepal Year in Nepal. These kinds of events have to be organized in all the places and countries abroad where it is possible so that it can act as an advertisement for the people to buy a package to visit Nepal. Then only organizing Visit Nepal would be a success. If not, it would remain just as an entertainment program in the country nothing more than that. Now in the digital age, the announcement of Visit Nepal year should be done through TVs,s and other electronic devices so that it reaches a big mass, then only the message will be effective.


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