September was eventful in many respect. It was an action packed month for not just global tourism but also for India tourism in many respect. And for us too as a publicatin. Our cover stories are waited for with baited breath. And with our last cover Story on developing Regional Tourism Opportunity’ neither the industry nor us, were disappointed in any way.
But first thing first. On the global tourism front, UNWTO data shovvs a healthy recovery in international travel. The first seven months Of the year (January to July) shows a 60 percent recovery in international travel over the pre-Covid 2019 numbers. It’s indeed healthy and promises to get only better as the year progresses, greate mormalcy returns and air travel capacity inches towards the pre-pandemic level.
However, the same cannot be said about international arrivals for India. If the global recovery for the first seven months of the year was 60 percent of the pre-Covid 2019 level, for India was barely 45 per cent. We Will need to buckle up, shore up our defenses and dive head long with far greater commitment to rebuild international tourism at the earliest or else, like always, we stand to lose so much, including the grand plan that are regularly outlined for India Tourism’s future.
The World Tourism Day theme of ‘Rethinking Tourism’ has definitely struck a greater cord With the industry, stakeholders and the policy makers this year. Everyone is keen to be back into business. But they also realize that it cannot be like before. As we rebuild tourism, we also need to be more responsible towards environment, climate and sustainability being more ingrained into business ethics and practices.
That we are talking about steps like introducing Circularity’ in tourism as means to be more “competitive,” using it to build “more inclusive local value chains” and leave behind a “positive footprint” as the UNWTO Secretary-General ZurabPololikashvili recently said in his address to Europe’s Environment Ministers at an event in Nicosia in Cyprus, is definitely a significant step and in the right direction. We hope ‘Circularity’ is fast adopted and practiced by this beautiful industry.
And not to forget the National Tourism Awards for 2018-19 was finally organised after a gap of 2 years. Although delayed, it has certainly helped infuse some energy in the industry. We hope that 2019-20 NTAS is executed at the earliest too.