Responsibility in Tourism

posted in: Tips | 22
Every country and place has a different charm to it – be it the age-old historic charm or the beautiful landscape.Every place creates memories – some more than the others and it is not always the beauty of the place that defines the strength of the memory. More often  than not, it is the experience of the place that leaves you with memories. Experience by way of how you felt, what you did and more importantly, what that place offered you in terms of facilities and entertainment.
Roman Ruins along the streets of Rome
Roman Ruins along the streets of Rome
Places like Rome are absolutely fascinating when it comes to history. The Roman history is not just well cataloged but runs through city of Rome. As you walk through the city, you see the Roman ruins everywhere. 
Ancient town of Hampi
Ancient town of Hampi
Drawing a parallel to this city in India, is Hampi in India. The small town is a fascinating place with ruins and excavations all over the place. The history and charm of this place is amazing and you can be really awed by the stuff that you see around.
So then, if Roman history is as fascinating as the Indian one, why is it that the two of them have such different auras? Given the treasure trove of ancient heritage, we are sitting on a gold mine of tourism. But why is it that we are not commanding a premium for it? Here are the few reasons why 

1) Passive tourism Vs. Active tourism

Tourism is a well – developed industry abroad.  Countries like Singapore,Italy, Thailand etc know how to market each of their attractions. Starting with the pricing for the entrance fees to showcasing and developing an attraction – each process is so professionally organized and well thought through from the point of view of the tourist. 
Singapore Zoo                                                                   Image Source:
Singapore Zoo                                                                                                                              Image Source:Wikimedia Commons
Take the case of the Singapore Zoo. This is one of the main places that features on every traveler’s list when visiting Singapore. What about the zoo makes it so visited?
Frankly, India too, have some good ones, but the difference lies in the way we market it. Singapore zoo is an interactive fun place where visitors get engaged, thus, increasing their interest levels. From interactive feeding sessions to daily shows and special sessions, the Singapore zoo offers a complete “experience” with animals. It leaves the travelers with memories to take away with them. In contrast to the same, the zoos in India are very passive. You come and watch the animals and leave without really having an “experience”.
Vatican Museum
Vatican Museum
Let’s take the example of museums next. The museums in the Western countries are very well cataloged and each display is very well done, with no clutter and clear explanation for each artifact. Every attraction is enabled with a voice enabled guided tour to make the entire attraction interesting and a more tourist friendly place. The museums are loaded with special shows and interactive zones for people to engage and have a better interest. For example, during my last visit to the British museum, there were small interactive zones for the kids to teach them how to identify different cultures, through small games. This helps the visitor get more interested and engaged in the display and one does not mind paying a premium for it.
What is free is never valued and what is paid for is priceless.

2) The love to leave yourself behind!

At Horsley Hills
At Horsley Hills
Appreciation and respect for the age-old relics is something that we indigenous tourists, completely lack. We believe in leaving behind ourselves physically when we visit these places. I think the idea of making “your love for you beloved” immortal by de-facing a beautiful historic monument is so powerful that people lose sight of the fact that they are vandalizing our own heritage. Vandalism persists across nations but we as a nation, with our loose laws and security measures have ruined quite a few of our age-old treasures.
My dear tourists, Stop piggybacking on the existing history to make a name. Instead etch your own name in history with some of your own noble deeds. 

3) The whole world is our trash can!

At the Chitradurga Fort, along the main pathway
At the Chitradurga Fort, along the main pathway

Patience to hold your litter till you reach an actual disposal box is missing. And where one throws, the other follows to actually make it a garbage heap. Not just an eye-sore but a dispenser of foul smell, the entire process dilutes the entire experience of discovering an age-old heritage. Where the same Indian goes to Rome and ensures he disposes waste in the right bin, at home, he assumes someone will clean up after him.

Trash on Kudle beach
Trash on Kudle beach

Here is to Modi’s Swacch Bharat Abhyan – “Cleanliness does begin at home!”.

Can someone please tell this traveler that?
In the end, let me leave you with these thoughts – While on the first reason, there is a lot to be done in India and as a traveler, you can only suggest and demand it from the tourism boards, the rest of the points is our responsibility as a traveler in India. I would like to leave all you travelers with a plea – “Make our attractions more famed by your noble deeds” Stop littering and start respecting what has been left for us, so that we can hand the same over to the next Gen in a clean and attractive manner.

“I am blogging for #ResponsibleTourism activity by Outlook Traveller in association with BlogAdda

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22 Responses

  1. kdn

    Really good article, more and more travel websites need to promote this. We could benefit so much from foreign tourism if these things are taken care of!!! there are so many monuments in India which no one has ever even heard about, in another country, these would have been advertised and maintained and would have generated revenue for the local population

  2. Sapna D

    Kudos Ami….well written….I just hope a lot of people dont forget the message after reading the article!!!

  3. Restless Traveler

    Amen to that :D. I am hoping that every reader of this blog realises it for himself/ herself and just takes on his part. That way I am hoping we will make a difference.

  4. Alok singhal

    This is such an eye-opener.

    Let me give you one incident…I saw one India family asking their little girl to pee in the open in the area for tourists opposite White House just because no one was seeing them. I somehow managed to see through an angle.
    This is such a shame!

  5. Restless Traveler

    Thank you Alok for reading through. It is indeed a shame and the one way we can make a difference is make this a moral and social responsibility on our part as a traveler. It would be great if you can help share this post and spread the message.


  6. Viyoma

    You have a said a lot. in very simple words.
    We need self disciplined travelers to ensure society stays clean. A long way to go…small steps will help us inch towards it

  7. Arun Prasadh

    Very good post Ami, Well said on leaving things behind. I always said and believed India is a beautiful country for tourist only the garbage spoils all the greatness. If we do not take care of the treasure who else will.

  8. Mridula

    I agree with you, it pains me to see how we litter without a care in the world! I hope things will change in my lifetime itself!

  9. Sri Kri

    Very good post Ami.It is the responsibility of all the tourist to keep the places clean.Cleanliness begin at home.

    Sriram & Krithiga

  10. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder

    very well-written, Ami. Tourists must exhibit certain responsibilities towards the places they are visiting. I especially liked the concept of active and passive tourism…that very much makes sense…

  11. Neha Verma

    You have put it so wonderfully. I really loved reading it. I have been always irritated particularly seeing names scrabbed on historical sites, ruining them. And the trash thrown here and there. All through Rajasthan trip, I felt sad seeing this state of immaturity in so many tourists in India..

    • Ami

      True and it still irks me a lot. I am hoping that people slowly make a note of these irresponsible things and stop doing so.

  12. Sandy N Vyjay

    Each one of us needs to own responsibility for ensuring that we leave the place we visit it as we found it. It is so unfortunate that the beautiful places of the world are being marred by irresponsible travelers who callously desecrate the places. It is high time all stakeholders take immediate steps to ensure that we preserve our treasures.

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