Today, September 27, is World Tourism Day. The United Nations (UN) website states that tourism today is a trillion dollar sector involving the movement of over one billion tourists a year around the world. In line with the 2013 United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation, the 2013 theme for World Tourism Day is Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future. While that is a global perspective of the tourism scenario, in Mumbai too, there are different events coming up to mark this tourism sector day.
Recently, this paper carried a report about how a portion of the world-renowned tourist site — the Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus was damaged because of some building repairs. The CST is a jewel in Mumbai’s tourism crown. Its facade continues to fascinate visitors and at several times, one can see tourists excitedly standing across the road and taking pictures of the station, enthralled by its exterior.
If this is the state of the high-profile CST, one only has to think about the state of other attractions in the city. While the monument or structure is one thing, we need to have amenities like clean, hygienic washrooms (a rarity, at most public places) for tourists, ramps for the disabled so that they too can access these spots, drinking water and small and clean restaurants for tourists. These are the basic amenities that authorities can think about to make visitors’ feel comfortable.
The locals too have to keep sites clean and try and help tourists who may be getting gypped by people taking advantage of their ignorance and avoid littering and offensive graffiti and defacement. Safety and cleanliness are keywords for swelling tourist numbers. No better time than today, to work on them.