The last week of September witnessed a plethora of events in the name of tourism across cities, regions, both in the public as well as the private domain. The reason for this sudden outburst was understandably so to celebrate World Tourism Day (WTD) which is held on September 27 every year and there are organisations who truly put into action some strong, relevant and thought provoking programmes to commemorate the day, while there are the rest who do it as a ritual or a formality without any concrete action plan. However for a sector that is probably one of the most ignored, initiatives to highlight its importance is always welcome. This year’s theme also touched upon a very vital and depleting natural source – Water. The United Nations (UN) celebrated the WTD 2013 with the theme Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future, which was in line with the UN’s International Year of Water Cooperation.
There is a lot that needs to be done on a rather serious note to both preserve water and promote tourism as water definitely gives a smooth flow to tourism. From cruising, both sea and river, to water sports to beach tourism and more, you cannot take away the role of water toward the growth of tourism. Island tourism, which in itself is definitely high-end and niche in form gains prominence under this year’s WTD theme. Today as we see it luxury is rather understated and selling luxury tourism is truly an art. It is not about the opulence, grandeur or style but it is rather subtle, classy and absolutely personal. A holiday on an island resort, which provides you an option of connecting with oneself, going through a digital detox therapy, makes sense to the today’s discerning traveller. Our cover story also touches upon this very meaningful way of promoting, presenting and selling luxury which is abstract and subjective. India is probably one of the best destinations to offer real time luxury be it in the islands of Lakshadweep or the tea gardens in the east.
Unfortunately, however much we promote the luxury element, it’s the accessibility to destinations of tranquility that can be dampeners for the discerning soul. The recent airfares on some interesting Indian sectors are really shocking. A Mumbai-Khajuraho-Mumbai during the first half of October displayed a figure that read approximately Rs 57,000. Interestingly, these are cities of two adjoining states Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. But the flight goes to Varanasi and then to Khajuraho. So much for preserving our natural resources – as fuel like water is yet another depleting resource. Time to act and think right, I guess.