For travel-loving people (such as us), September 23rd marks a special day. Thanks to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, this date doubles up as World Tourism Day. Read on to know how countries around the globe are celebrating it this year. By Bayar Jain
If you’re anything like us, chances are your soul isn’t satiated despite travelling to many lands. The urge to explore newer terrains never diminishes, and your heart incessantly craves for new adventures. World Tourism Day, marked every year on September 23rd, celebrates people like us. Since 1980, The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has been marking this day with the aim of raising awareness about the importance of tourism. Although each year the theme for the celebrations changes, the focus on the fact that travelling plays a major role in our social, cultural, political and economic lives remains the same. This year, the theme is ‘Tourism and Jobs — A Better Future For All’. With this theme in mind, countries around the globe are interpreting it in their own ways. Here are four such countries:
Free entry to the museums of Vatican
In lieu of World Tourism Day, Vatican City has designed to give visitors free entry to the Vatican Museums. Moreover, people visiting the museums of this tiny country will also have free access to the Papal Collections. However, payment is still required for the museums’ late-night opening, that is, from 7pm to 11pm.
2. Cleaning lagoons in Ghana
It’s not necessary for every celebration to leave a mess behind. The African nation of Ghana decided to make the most of this special day by organising a massive clean-up exercise at the Chemu Lagoon estuary. According to Charles Buabin, Acting Tema Regional Manager of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), last year, too, a similar initiative was taken. Then, the estuary and its environs provided homes to 200 new coconut trees. This year, the gutters of the area will be weeded, cleaned, swept and cleared, paving way for the possibility of more visitors to this lagoon.
3. Free entry to Greece’s Acropolis
The Greek Tourism Ministry is inviting visitors to participate in World Tourism Day by visiting the archaeological site of the Acropolis for free. Visitors will also have the chance to enter the Acropolis Museum free of charge from 5pm until 10pm. Meanwhile, the ministry and the Greek National Tourism Organization will hold a special event at central Syntagma Square with popular TV host Giorgos Lianos. Participants will also receive printed material, promotional hats, blouses and bags, as well as take part in a draw for two airline tickets to Greek destinations.
4. Talks, tours and more in India’s New Delhi
Being the host country for this year’s World Tourism Day, it’s no surprise India is going all out with its celebrations. Vigyan Bhavan, a convention centre of the Government of India, is hosting a series of events. Starting with talks by travel photographer Ana Nance and a panel discussion on ‘Maximizing Tourism’s Potential to Create More and Better Jobs’, the day-long event will also be awarding the winners of the National Tourism Awards. Foreign delegates can even choose to embark on a city tour, or a tour of Agra the following day.