Every year on 27th September we celebrate World Tourism Day when we draw world attention to the importance of tourism and its role is social, economic and cultural sphere. At the dawn of the new century technology with its developments has opened new avenues for tourism. Information technology, transport facilities, worldwide internet reaches even villages; and mobile phone have ushered in a new era of the 21st century.
New technology has brought about revolutionary changes in tourism. Technology has entered every sphere of life, tourism has reaped its maximum benefit. Developments in the transportation sector would certainly make travel fast, secure, comfortable and easy. Science is both a boon and curse nectar or poison-depending on its use or misuse. The careless or irrresponsible use of technology can disturb the ecological balance and its impact upon Nature and Tourism could be devastating. Technology has given us many things but has made us unaware of future danger. Number of aware people caught up in the blind race for development have declined. Two challenges to increase tourism are: technology and nature.
Let us think over these challenges in the context by our country on World Tourism Day. This merits attention by the whole country, not simply those associated with tourism. Where will we stand in coming years? What will be our tourism policy? What will be the role of tourism in generating employment? The answer to these questions is in the womb of the future. But one thing is clear, this smoke-free industries with lesser investment in comparison to other industries generates more employment. Our country with its variety and vast area has everything to attract tourists, we need perception and will power. We have never estimated the economics of tourism. Giving direct and indirect employment to the millions, it strengthens the country economically by earning foreign exchange. We will have to think over how to keep pace in future tourism growth . Only the future will tell how far the youths are able to benefit by training themselves in new technology.
In present context none can deny that the man has to harmonize between technology and nature. It is inevitable and it cannot be attained by giving more importance to either. Both have equal importance. New technology makes life easier but natural imbalance is a threat to life. If innovation in medical science has freed man from many diseases it has also increased cancer like deadly diseases by damaging the ozone layer. Air pollution in big cities has made the masses victim of lung diseases. Harmony between development and ecology is essential.
How long will we exploit nature in the name of development? Material accomplishments have dazzled us, we are not aware of injustice meted out to nature. Now slowly the world is realizing the ecological imbalances caused by technology and tourism development. That is why we are mindful of maintaining the pristine form of ecology along with expansion of tourism maintaining and conserving the snowy Himalayas, wild-life, remains of ancient civilizations, the Taj, Ghats of Varanasi and many other places.
When the tourist visits a place this affects the ecology. . Tourism also creates love for natural scenes and wild-life which conserves them both.
It is not easy to keep our culture intact in today’s globalization. Cable TV has brought western culture to our rooms and we cannot stop its influence on the young. Foreign sexual behavior and clothes and life style brings about cultural pollution. Poisonous exhaust from automobiles pollutes the atmosphere. Pollution in rivers is a threat both to man and water creature.
The way out is to protect nature by new technology. Preference is to be given to the alternate sources of energy. Science has made everything possible. There are ways to stop every kind of pollution. The only thing needed is will to act. Both citizens and the government are responsible for nature’s imbalance. It is strange that a few months ago citizens of Varanasi would throw garbage in the bin because of a municipal officer but now would throw it anywhere.
Celebration of World Tourism Day, coverage in the press, drinking and meetings in five star hotels, flowery speeches, are not enough. Without genuine commitment to the nation, mother nature and the soil, every effort is meaningless. It is ridiculous to see people planning in air conditioned offices ignoring the people directly related to it. How long would paper horses run? They have to perish.
In the end, I appeal to all sensible citizens to understand the delicate relationship of technology, man and nature because they are interdependent and can not be separated. It is quite imperative that we harvest the benifits of modern technology and learn to give.