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World Tourism Day 2012

Updated on September 25, 2012

Today is World Tourism Day; let’s celebrate this day by knowing the beautiful land of India. World Tourism Day was first celebrated in 1980 by the United Nations World Tourism Organization. Cheers to the incredible beauty of India.

Tourism is one of the most popular leisure activities that people worldwide indulge in. For people residing across the globe, India is a land of beautiful landscapes, myriad of rich cultures, different languages and number of religions. In spite of the fact that India is one of the most populated countries of the world, but it still sustains to be one of the most famous and preferred tourist destinations. Lush flora and fauna and rich cultural heritage across different states, pronounces India beautiful. If you’re planning a visit to India, the country surely offers you amazing sightseeing, interesting tourist destinations and loads of unexplored places.

India offers myriad flavors and this bountiful land promises to surprise you at every step if it is your next tourist destination in your vacation list. Rajasthan - known for rich culture and heritage monuments; Kerala’s breathtaking beaches & backwaters; Goa - the land of sun, sand, surf & sea; Kashmir - the Heaven on the Earth; Agra - known for the symbol of love Taj Mahal; Himachal Pradesh - one of the most charming & captivating states; etc are some major tourist destinations in the county. Being an India, I can assure you that this beautiful land with twenty eight states will offer you the most pleasurable experience which you can cherish till your last breath.

Start your journey from the north and you’ll find snow laden mountains of Himalaya. Jammu & Kashmir will familiarize you with the real beauty of India. Kashmir is called the real paradise on earth. Charm yourself with the natural beauty in form of fresh water lakes and beautiful gardens. You can indulge in different adventurous activities like trekking, river rafting, and wildlife excursions. Gorgeously decorated shikaras (wooden ships) on Dal Lake will be a lovely experience hence, don’t you shouldn’t miss it. After Jammu & Kashmir, the next destination can be Punjab. A pilgrimage of Golden Temple is a must in the territory of Sikhs and is considered as one of the most pious and sacred place. Wagha Border in Amritsar is the only border crossing between Pakistan and India, and lies on the Grand Trunk Road between the cities of Amritsar, Punjab in India and Lahore in Pakistan. It is famous for the grand Wagah border ceremony that happens at the border gate every day before sunset. Next, you can visit the capital city – New Delhi – the most visited state of the country. Lotus Temple, India Gate, Red Fort, Old Fort, Qutub Minar, Birla Temple, Iskon Temple, and Raj Ghat are some of the tourist attractions. After enjoying your stay in the capital city, let’s proceed towards Rajasthan – the state that oozes royalty and regality. Jaipur (the pink city), Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Ajmer, Pushkar, and Bikaner are known as the heritage cities of Rajasthan. You can’t miss the opportunity of glancing at the rich royalty of India.

From northern India, you can travel towards the extreme east. North eastern states of India set the perfect example of natural beauty. Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura are the seven sisters that combine and form the north eastern beauty of India. If you’ve a passion for wildlife photography, natural forests, wildlife, flora and fauna of north east will surely allure you. Mountaineering, river water rafting, trekking, and para sailing will also interest you a lot. Travelling through the by lanes of eastern India will take you to the city of joy Kolkata, West Bengal. Many are not aware of this fact that Kolkata was the former capital of India and is known for its literary, artistic, and revolutionary heritage.Apart from the Howrah Bridge which is known for its outstanding architecture and engineering, Kolkata is also known for Victorial Memorial, Rabindranath Tagore, football, Sourav Ganguly and rasgulla (sweet dish).

Moving towards the Western Ghats of India, you’ll reach the city of dreams, Mumbai in Maharashtra. This city is all about sparkles, big dreams and gaining fame for you. Bollywood, is one of the most talked about things that has made India popular on the global map. People residing in different corners of the world are crazy for one or the other Bollywood star; thus popularizing India worldwide. Going down towards the Indian boundary, you’ll reach the most talked about tourist destination of India – Goa! Famed for its beautiful beaches, white washed Portuguese churches and its cuisine, Goa also unravels the ultimate fun of water sports.

Finally, we reach the southern part of India that is surrounded by three major water bodies – Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean. The journey continues with Kerala (the most visited tourist destination of south India) that explore the beauty of lush backwaters and embracing coconut trees. There is nothing like taking a ride in "Kettuvallam" (traditional Kerala Houseboats) through the enchanting backwaters of Kerala. Mysore, the city of palaces; Bangalore, the commercial city of the South; beautiful hill station of Ooty, and Chennnai are some of the attractions which can make your vacation in India memorable. Another city that shouldn’t be missed if you’re passionate about culture and art is Pondicherry. Enchanting cathedrals, beach resorts, the French boulevard town with its French heritage makes this place fascinating. If beaches and cathedrals remind you of Goa, don’t mistake this place to be some replacement for Goa. You’ll only get disappointment. Unlike Goa, Pondicherry does not have a commercial infrastructure to entertain tourists; but is a great place to look around, walking by the sea beach and attend cultural programs.

Diversity in culture, religion, ethnicity and language has made India one of the most sought after travel destinations in the world. The country attracts a large gathering of tourists every year from every corner of the globe. Hindi is the national language of the country, but English is widely spoken. There are 18 official languages but over a thousand recognized dialects.

World Tourism Ranking

Rank
Country
International Tourist Arrivals (2011)
International Tourist Arrivals (2010)
Change (2010 to 2011)
1
France
79.5 million
77.1 million
+3.0%
2
United States
62.3 million
59.8 million
+4.2%
3
China
57.6 million
55.7 million
+3.4%
4
Spain
56.7 million
52.7 million
+7.6%
5
Italy
46.1 million
43.6 million
+5.7%
6
Turkey
29.3 million
27.0 million
+8.7%
7
United Kingdom
29.2 million
28.3 million
+3.2%
8
Germany
28.4 million
26.9 million
+5.5%
9
Malaysia
24.7 million
24.6 million
+0.6%
10
Mexico
23.4 million
23.3 million
+0.5%
In 2011, there were 983 million international tourist arrivals worldwide, with a growth of 4.6% as compared to 940 million in 2010.[1][2] The top 10 international tourism destinations in 2011. Source: Wikipedia

Asia and the Pacific Tourism Ranking

Rank
Country
International tourist arrivals (2011)
1
China
57.58 million
2
Malaysia
24.71 million
3
Hong Kong
22.32 million
4
Thailand
19.10 million
5
Macau
12.93 million
6
Singapore
10.39 million
7
South Korea
9.80 million
8
Indonesia
7.65 million
9
India
6.29 million
10
Japan
6.22 million
In 2011, there were over 217 million international tourist arrivals to Asia and the Pacific, an increase of 6.1% over 2010. In 2011, the top ten destinations were Source : Wikipedia

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World Tourism Day Message by UNWTO Secretary-General

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      Mary Rose 4 years ago from Mumbai

      Nice, I get more innovative idea.