Every May and June, we are rewarded with mangoes and summer holidays. We look forward most to escaping the heat in search for new adventures and experiences out of home. A new village, town, city or country becomes home for a few weeks and we come back refreshed.
India, too, receives millions of travelers every year. According to the World Bank, more than 76 lac people visited India from abroad annually between 2011 and 2015. 76 lac global citizens see us, the way we live and the way we behave, every year.
The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015 ranks India 52nd out of 141 countries overall. It mentions that India has quite good air transport (ranked 35th), particularly given the country’s stage of development, and reasonable ground transport infrastructure (ranked 50th). The country also scores high on natural and cultural resources (ranked 12th). We have a lot going for us. Our diversity caters to every taste.
As citizens, it is our duty and responsibility to make everyone feel welcome. In fact, our country’s mantra is ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’. This concept says that guests are to be treated like god, in the sense, to be respected, welcomed, served and taken care of by all means. Mere campaigning on these lines is of course, not enough. Here are some things we can do to make sure that people depart from India leaving a piece of their heart behind:
- Be kind always. Help those who seek direction, help or support.
- Keep your surrounding and neighbourhoods clean.
- Do not discriminate based on appearance.
- Make visitors, especially women, feel safe and welcome.
- Follow traffic rules. Honk less, be patient, give way.
- Protect and conserve our national monuments.
- Take care of our natural resources.
Here are some snippets from the ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ campaigns. We are a loving, welcoming country.
We are proud to be Indians. Let us also make the whole world proud to visit India! Let’s Desh Apnayen by being clean, disciplined and respectful to our guests. Every small step we take goes a long way in making India a place worth visiting.