This article is dedicated to all the travelers who love to travel and explore new cultures and make their life more happening.
World Tourism Day is held annually on the 27th of September with the sole purpose to raise awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political, and economic value. But COVID 19 has surely changed the tourism scenario of the world.
The theme of World Tourism Day 2020
This year the theme is “Tourism and Rural Development“. In many areas of the world, tourism is the only source of income for the locals. This pandemic has hit this industry hard and the result was the loss in livelihood in many pockets of the world. This year it aims to restore livelihoods to such rural communities.
The host of World Tourism Day 2020
For the first time in 40 years, UN World Tourism Day will be hosted by the member states of the MERCOSUR (Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Chile).
Impact of COVID 19 pandemic on the tourism sector
According to the UN report, the tourist count dropped by 98% in May. Reasons that contributed to this were strict lockdowns in countries due to pandemic, people being more aware of the situation, and more.
Places to visit in the Host countries
Now let’s look at a few amazing places you can visit (of course, once the pandemic situation gets better), in the host countries.
Iguazu Fall, one of the world’s incredible wonders is the main attraction of this tiny town. The fall is located along the Iguazu River. You can find many spas, hostels alongside the awe-striking, and spiffing view of the fall.
This small town is famous for its folk music and tribal art. Every year a festival is celebrated here to honor a century-old art form- Nanduti. If you are a person, who’s interest lies and folk cultures then this is a place for you.
Salto Del Penitente
If you are a mountain person, then you should mark this place on your list. The breathtaking views from up the mountains leading to small waterfalls and natural pools is something you can’t miss. Various adventurous activities are also offered here.
This is the most popular ski area in North America, by far. Loved by all, whether the beginner skiers or the seasoned one, this is now in the common interest that Chile serves the world’s best skiing.
While traveling to any country, one should keep in mind the sustainable tourism. Going by the definition by World Tourism Organization, “Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts addressing the needs of visitors, the industry and the environment, and the host communities.”
Why Responsible Tourism is important?
The Sustainable or Responsible tourism is important because tourism can impact the local culture, environment, and economic value of the place both positively and negatively. It can have opposite or adverse effects if tourism is unchecked and uncontrolled. It can cause considerable damage to the natural resources, local tribes and their culture, cause pollution, and many more.
Impact on the Environment
The positive impact on the environment mainly includes the rise in awareness of the present situation of that place as tourism increases. The people visiting may come to know about environmental degradation (if any) and may contribute to environmental protection and degradation.
The negative impacts, however, are many. To increase the tourism of the area, it needs to be well connected by road, airports. The requirement of hotels, restaurants, resorts, shopping complexes also increases. Hence, to reach the demand, the construction of these causes damage to the environment.
Impact on Socio-Cultural status
This, again, can have both positive and negative impacts.
Whenever a tourist or a traveler visits a place, s/he learns about the new culture, rituals, community. But even the host community learns something new from their visiting guests. This may bring about changes in the host community if they adopt something from a different culture and hence posing a threat to the indigenous community.
However, the positive impact is that people learn about a new culture, new traditional lifestyles, etc. Tourism also helps by fostering pride in their own culture and also by providing and creating new kinds of jobs in the local community. By this, the urban dislocation of people can be avoided.
Impact on Economic Value
The economic value of the place automatically increases once people start visiting a place and talk about it. This helps create a job for people and earn livelihoods.
Travelling doesn’t essentially mean you go miles away. There’s a lot to explore nearby.– Unknown
This is your planet. You really should come see it sometimes.– G Adventures
I think its the collective responsibility of every individual who travels to a place, to not damage it in any way possible, to respect the cultural values of the place, the tribes and the local community.
This World Tourism Day, let us all take a pledge to travel more sustainably than ever before.
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