On the occasion of World Tourism Day on September 27, India hosted World Tourism Day with the theme, “Tourism and Jobs: A Better Future for All”. M Venkaiah Naidu, the Vice President of India, at the inaugural ceremony of World Tourism Awards 2017-18 in New Delhi thanked the United Nations organization for choosing India as the host for this year’s celebration. He also said tourism is a major engine of economic growth and an important source of employment and foreign exchange. It has tremendous potential, considering India’s rich cultural and historical heritage, varied ecology, terrains and places of natural beauty.
The Vice President also gave away the India’s National Tourism Awards 2017-18. A total of 76 awards were given under various categories this year. Andhra Pradesh bagged the Best State award for overall growth in tourism category. Goa and Madhya Pradesh were the joint winners in the Adventure Tourism category and Uttarakhand won the award for the Best Film Promotion-Friendly State. Telangana won the award for the Best State for the innovative use of IT.
The Union Minister of State for Tourism & Culture (IC) Prahlad Singh Patel; Secretary-General of United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Zurab Pololikashvili; Tourism Minister of Paraguay Sofia Montiel De Afara; Tourism Secretary Yogendra Tripathi; DG Tourism Meenakshi Sharma, senior officers of Ministry of tourism and 82 international delegates were among those present on the occasion. The tourism minister Patel and Secretary General UNWTO, during a press briefing, announced that the Online Academy of UNWTO will make available tourism related courses in Hindi also on their Academy portal. The Tourism Minister further announced that from next year onwards there will be a new special category in Tourism Awards for persons demonstrating extraordinary actions like saving the life of a tourist in life threatening situation. India is a rapidly growing economy and is also making the desired reforms, all of which offers a lot of opportunities for the tourist sector.