The joy of exploring the world can be matched by very few other things in life. Which makes it important to recognise, admire and celebrate it. Word Tourism Day does that exactly, and more. Observed on 27th September every year, World Tourism Day is an important event that aims to raise awareness about the significance of tourism around the world.

The tourism sector not only contributes towards the growth and development of a country, but also promotes cultural exchange between locals and tourists. It helps create thousands of jobs in different sectors and encourages infrastructural development as well. Keeping these in mind, the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) works towards making travel accessible to all while ensuring sustainable tourism.

World Tourism Day: Background

World Tourism Day was chosen by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in 1979 and the celebration started in 1980. The date 27th September was selected as it marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Statutes of UNWTO in 1970. These Statutes helped in the establishment of UNWTO five years later in 1975.

Ever since 1980, World Tourism Day is celebrated on the 27th of September every year across the globe.

World Tourism Day 2023: Concept

On September 2023, the 43rd edition of World Tourism Day will be celebrated around the world. The official celebration will be held in Marrakesh, Morocco, with the theme of ‘Tourism and Green Investment.’ 

How to Celebrate World Tourism Day in India

The best way to celebrate World Tourism Day in India is by travelling and exploring the popular and hidden gems in the country. While there are many things to experience in India, here are some of the top options.

1. Spend some serene time in a hill station

India is peppered with many beautiful hill stations boasting scenic surroundings and a peaceful environment. With snow-capped mountains, lush green valleys, waterfalls, beautiful flora and fresh mountain air, these hill stations promise a magical experience every time. You can pick from many beautiful hill stations such as Manali, Dharamsala, Nainital, Auli, Darjeeling, Srinagar, Leh-Ladakh, Coorg and Ooty, all worth visiting. 

2. Explore the historical monuments in Delhi

Featuring a perfect blend of history and modernity, the capital city of India is a delight for different types of travellers. And if you are someone who loves exploring historical places, Delhi is a must-visit. The city, which has seen the rise and fall of several empires in the past, is dotted with monuments and structures that speak volumes about its rich history, heritage and culture. Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, India Gate, Purana Qila, Jama Masjid, Agrasen Ki Baoli, Qutub Minar and Tughlaqabad Fort are some of the popular monuments to visit.

3. Admire the backwaters in Kerala

Located in the southern part of India, Kerala is one of the best places to visit in the country. Apart from unspoilt beaches, scenic beauty and delectable cuisine, the state is famous for its mesmerising backwater cruises in different types of houseboats. Kerala is home to many beautiful backwater destinations, like Alleppey, Kuttanad, Kumarakom, Kocho, Thiruvallam, Kollam and Kozhikode, among others. Cruising the backwaters while soaking in the beauty of the surroundings is one of the best things to experience here.

4. Enjoy the colourful culture of Thar Desert

Spread over Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab, Thar or ‘The Great Indian Desert’ is known for its rich human culture, sand dunes, colourful festivals and a wonderful collection of flora and fauna. This desert is mostly popular for camel safaris along the rolling sand dunes of Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Bikaner and Pushkar. What’s more, you can enjoy overnight desert camping, star gazing, jeep safari, traditional cultural performances, Rajasthani food and stunning sunrise and sunset views over the sand dunes.

5. Trek in the Himalayas

If you are a nature lover and adventure seeker, a trek in the Himalayas will fill you with wonderful memories. There are multiple trekking routes of different difficulty levels, so you can choose a suitable one and satiate your adrenaline rush. The natural beauty of the routes and stunning views of snow-capped mountains, deep valleys, milky-white streams and flower-covered meadows are sure to leave you mesmerised. Some popular trekking routes in the Himalayas are Hampta Pass Trek, Valley of Flowers Trek, Rupin Pass Trek, Har Ki Dun Trek, Bali Pass Trek, and Goecha La Trek.

6. Pay your respects at the temples in Varanasi

Located on the left bank of the holy River Ganga, Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India, is the ultimate pilgrimage destination for Hindus around the world. It is known for the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The city reportedly has 23,000 temples and 88 Ghats. The divine Ganga Aarti performed at Dashaswamedh Ghat every evening is one of the best things to experience in Varanasi. Kashi Vishwanath Temple, Kaal Bhairav Mandir, Maa Annapurna Mandir and Sankat Mochan Mandir are among the most revered shrines in this holy city.

7. Find inner peace in Auroville

When it comes to inner peace and spiritual enlightenment, Auroville is the place to be. Auroville is a universal town where men and women from any country can live in peace and harmony. The town is known for housing the popular Matrimandir or ‘Mother’s Shrine’ where people can practice integral yoga for mental peace and overall wellbeing. This dome-styled gold-plated structure is the main centre of meditation in Auroville. 

How to Celebrate World Tourism Day Outside India

If you love travelling to different countries, you can plan a trip to one of these places to celebrate this important event.

1. Explore the beautiful landmarks in New York

Known for its towering skyscrapers, stunning landmarks, lively nightlife and endless energy, New York is a wonderful place for different types of travellers. When it comes to points of interest and landmarks, the city has many unique and iconic attractions. Apart from the famous Statue of Liberty, other popular landmarks here are the Empire State Building, Bryant Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, Central Park, and American Museum of Natural History, to name a few.

2. Enjoy the beaches and nightlife of Phuket

If you are planning a beach vacation outside India, Phuket is a wonderful destination. The largest island of Thailand houses many offshore islands, beautiful beaches, lively markets and vibrant nightclubs, bars and discotheques for enthusiasts. From spending time on the sandy shores of Patong Beach and enjoying the nightlife on Bangla Road to exploring Phuket weekend night market and taking a trip to Phi Phi Islands, there are so many amazing things to do here.

3. Spend some peaceful time in Bali

A famous island in Indonesia, Bali is a wonderful destination for a laidback vacation. It is dotted with many beautiful beaches where you can spend some leisurely time, take a boat ride, surf, dive, or spot dolphins. What’s more, Bali is known for its picturesque temples, scenic rice terraces, milky-white waterfalls, tranquil yoga retreats and vibrant local markets. The island has some of the best coral reefs that are worth exploring. All in all, this lovely island is ideal for a peaceful getaway.

4. Soak in the beautiful landscapes of Iceland

Located near the Arctic Circle, Iceland is one of the most dreamlike places to visit in the world. This beautiful and sparsely populated country is known for its unique and dramatic landscapes that will transport you to a different world altogether. The country is a mind-blowing concoction of waterfalls, glaciers, hot springs, mountains, active volcanos, lava plains and lakes. Iceland is also one of the best places in the world to see the beautiful Northern Lights.

5. Experience the heritage of England in London

A leading tourist destination in the world, London has something for everyone. Apart from popular attractions, such as the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Tower of London, Big Ben and Parliament, the city houses many museums and art galleries that have preserved the culture and heritage of this historic city. London boasts a vibrant nightlife and some of the finest fashion boutiques as well.

6. Revel in the culture and fashion of Paris

The capital city of France is one of the most important European cities and cultural centres known for its arts, fashion, music and entertainment scenes. Paris is home to many cultural sites and architectural wonders that are worth a visit. Louvre Museum, Rodin Museum, Musee Picasso, Montmartre, Eiffel Tower, The Notre Dame Cathedral and Opera Garnier are some top attractions here. Moreover, Paris is known for its chic designer boutiques, flea markets and vintage shops selling the trendiest products. The city has some huge shopping outlets as well, such as Galeries Lafayette Haussmann, Westfield Forum des Halles and Italie 2. The delectable French cuisine, wine and cheese are too good to be missed.

7. Get a huge adrenaline rush with adventure sports in New Zealand

Featuring beautiful coastlines and mighty mountains, New Zealand is ideal for adventure sports enthusiasts. From jet boating, zip lining, zorbing and bungy jumping to sky diving, kayaking, sailing, hiking and mountain biking, there is no dearth of adventure activities in the country. Queenstown in New Zealand is especially ideal for adventure seekers.

Now that we have come to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic, transforming and revitalising the tourism sector is the need of the hour. The pandemic had hit the global tourism scene unbelievably, but on this World Tourism Day 2023, rethinking tourism can help prepare the industry for similar challenges in the future. And it can inspire travellers to continue exploring with new vigour.