World Tourism Day Volunteering Activities: The Road to Sustainable Tourism for Development
Travelling to different countries and new destinations is the best way to learn more about different cultures and geographies, and to comprehend and respect the diversity that exists on the planet. Tourism is one of the catalysts for world peace and helps in the economic and social development of countries across the globe. Therefore, the 27th of September is observed every year as the World Tourism Day, by the United Nations and several other organisations around the world, as an endeavor to highlight the importance of tourism in socio-economic development.
The theme of this year’s World Tourism Day is Sustainable Tourism for Development, which focuses on the preservation of the climate, culture, and ecosystems of the travel destinations frequented by tourists.
Protecting the unique character of each tourism hot spot is crucial for retaining global diversity and for ensuring the growth of the tourism industry. Here are some of the best volunteerism ideas in India by means of which you can support the cause of sustainable tourism for development.
1. Volunteer At A Forest Reserve
The forests of India are some of our most precious ecosystems and a significant percentage of the species that inhabit them are faced with the threat of extinction. This World Tourism Day, volunteer at a forest reserve near you to help out the staff with their daily activities such as distributing flyers and giving short talks to the tourists regarding the importance of not disturbing these ecosystems. Encourage the tourists not to litter the home of the animals and make them aware of the dangers of interfering with the jungle’s environment. This small gesture can help in prolonging the life of the forest and its four legged inhabitants.
2. Spread Awareness Regarding Climate Change
With every passing year, the number of natural catastrophes such as earthquakes, floods, and droughts is rising. Abnormal climatic changes caused by global warming, excessive mining, over exploitation of natural resources, and increasing pollution caused by industrialization are some of the reasons behind these natural disasters. Deforestation for acquiring more industrial land not only tarnishes the beauty of our tourist destinations but also makes them more prone to being destroyed by these natural calamities. So volunteer for an NGO that protests against the exploitation of our hills and forests and spreads awareness regarding climate change and the associated hazards.
3. Participate In Voluntourism
If you enjoy travelling then combine a vacation with volunteering for sustainable development. Voluntourism means travelling to a place and participating in volunteering activities at the destination. These activities could include interacting with the locals and helping them set up a website for selling their handicrafts or travelling to an earthquake torn region and participating in rebuilding the houses. Be it the planting of trees in a nature reserve struck by a forest fire or teaching different skills to the tribes that inhabit a tourist village, the possibilities are endless with voluntourism. These activities will ensure the growth of tourism in the region and will thereby provide financial security to the locals.
4. Promote The Cottage Industries
In the olden days, people would travel to the rural areas to buy items such as crockery, earthen pots, hand-woven cloth etc. With the growth of shopping malls and online shopping portals, the popularity of locally made items has decreased, thereby impacting the revenue generated by the villages by means of retail tourism. Rekindle the popularity of the cottage industries of India by promoting them on various social media platforms. You can also work with NGO’s that support the local artisans and display their works to the tourists. In this manner, you will not only be supporting the livelihood of the rural artisans but will also be bringing their villages to the tourist map, thereby creating new channels for revenue generation.
These are some of the best World Tourism Day volunteering ideas which can help the Indian tourism industry to prosper.
Remember, sustainable tourism for development is not just about preserving our tourist destinations but also about improving the lives of the locals and expanding the nation’s tourism industry.
Any volunteering activity that promotes or protects a tourism hub of the country is a wonderful contribution to the initiative of World Tourism Day.