New Delhi, Sep 27 : Considering India's rich cultural and historical heritage, varied ecology, terrains and places of natural beauty, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said tourism has tremendous potential in the country.
"From the frigid deserts of Leh, to the sun-drenched sand dunes of Rajasthan, to the lush forests of Madhya Pradesh, to the expansive backwaters of Kerala, to the pristine waters of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the natural beauty of the Indian subcontinent is unparalleled," he said while inaugurating the World Tourism Day-2019 celebrations here in the national capital.
Having 30 cultural and seven Natural World Heritage Sites, Mr Naidu noted that India has a mesmeric conflation of the old and the new. The Vice President also urged all stake-holders of the tourism industry to be especially mindful of their ecological footprints and called for more responsible and sustainable tourism practices.
Mr Naidu expressed his happiness at India being selected as the host country for celebration of World Tourism Day 2019 by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
The 2019 World Tourism Day celebrations are underway in India and all around the globe. This is the day to celebrate the power of tourism as a force for good. The theme of World Tourism Day this year is “Tourism and Jobs: A Better Future for All”.
Expressing his concern over the problem of rising pollution in India, Mr Naidu asked service providers to make sustainability and conservation an integral part of their business plans. "Adopt a more judicious approach to consumption of resources so that future generations also have the opportunity to avail of all the benefits of tourism," he said.
Mr Naidu asserted that there is a need to keep in mind the aspect of ‘ethics’ in travel and added that tourism should benefit people and the environment in different destinations.
"It should offer better income to families living in the area, by sourcing products and services locally. It should serve as a tool for the empowerment of local communities," he opined.
World Tourism Day is commemorated each year on 27 September, with celebrations led by UNWTO. It's purpose is to foster awareness among the global community of tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value and the contribution the sector can make in reaching Sustainable Development Goals. (UNI)