With Connecting Cultures as the slogan for this year's World Tourism Day, The Guide got Backpacker Co's head honcho Yogesh Shah to play travel guru and recommend the best places to soak in a culturally rich holiday

Earlier this year, in July, the World Tourism Organisation had announced Tourism: Connecting Cultures, as the slogan for 2011.

Ruins at Angkor Wat, Cambodia

The intent, according to Secretary Ryfay Talib was to integrate different cultures in the world and promote understanding of the world in order to contribute towards tourism.

The need to protect and respect the artistic heritage and ancient culture of a region is of paramount importance, according to the WTO.

With these parameters in mind, The Guide asked Yogesh Shah, founder and CEO of Backpacker Co to recommend the ideal Indian and international getaways if you'd like to savour a cultural holiday.

"India is one of the world's most culturally diverse countries, so it becomes tough to shortlist a place but Kerala comes to the mind, instantly, if you're looking for a cultural escape. I

t offers a good mix of infrastructure and accessibility to the tourist.

This apart, the cultural options are amazing. Rajasthan is another region that fits the bill, nicely.

The region, with its rich historic roots and is in sync and keyed in to receiving tourists throughout the year so it's an automatic choice."

Shah goes on to add that the Tuscan region in Italy gets his vote for a culturally enriching experience.

"Italian people and its culture are quite similar to India. Vietnam, Cambodia and Bali are also fantastic destinations with plenty to offer the tourist in search of history and tradition."