Tourism Current Affairs - 2019

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Paryatan Parv 2019 being organised by Ministry of Tourism

Union Ministry of Tourism is organising ‘Paryatan Parv 2019’ from 2 to 13 October 2019 across the country. The nationwide festival was inaugrated by Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Minister of Steel, Dharmendra Pradhan in New Delhi.

About Paryatan Parv

The Delhi leg of Paryatan Parv is being held from 2-6 October 2019 at Rajpath lawns between Rafi Marg and Janpath.  The 2019 edition of Paryatan Parv is dedicated to 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Objective: The idea of celebrating Paryatan Parv is to propagate the message of ‘Dekho Apna Desh’, with the objective of encouraging Indians to visit various tourist destinations of country, drawing focus on the benefits of tourism, showcasing the cultural diversity of the country and reinforcing and spreading the principle of ‘Tourism for All’.

Three Components of Paryatan Parv:

Dekho Apna Desh:  To encourage Indians to visit their own country, several activities have been organised during parv across country such as promotion on Social Media, Photography contest covering tourism attractions and experiences, Tourism related Essay, Quiz, Debate and Painting Competitions for Students. General public engagement for event will be promoted through MyGov platform.

Tourism for All:  Tourism Events at sites across all states are being organised and activities at these sites will include illumination in and around Sites, Cultural Programmes of Theatre, Story Telling, Music, Dance, Sensitisation Programmes for Stakeholders around Showcasing Culture, Sites, Tourism Exhibitions, Guided Heritage Walks, Cuisine and Handicrafts or Handlooms, etc.

Tourism & Governance:  Interactive Sessions & Workshops with Stakeholders on varied themes have been organised across the Country as a part of Paryatan parv activities.

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to offer tourist visas for the first time

The kingdom of Saudi Arabia will offer tourist visas for the first time as part of a push to diversify its economy away from oil. The move to open up the ultra-conservative kingdom to holidaymakers comes just two weeks after devastating attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure, which has roiled global energy markets.

Key Highlights

Kickstarting tourism in the kingdom is one of the centrepieces of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 reform programme so as to prepare the biggest Arab economy for a post-oil era.

Country’s tourism attraction treasure includes- 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, a vibrant local culture and breathtaking natural beauty.

Initially, Saudi Arabia will open applications for online tourist visas to citizens of 49 countries. The kingdom will also ease its strict dress code for foreign women, thereby allowing them to go without body-shrouding abaya robe that is still mandatory public wear for Saudi women.

However, the kingdom, which forbids alcohol and has a strict social code, is seen by many as a hard sell for tourists.

Prince Mohammed is already seeking to change the way world views Saudi Arabia through a sweeping liberalisation drive that has brought new cinemas, mixed-gender concerts and sporting extravaganzas to Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia’s efforts to Build Tourism

In kingdom Visas are restricted to expat workers, their dependents and Muslim pilgrims travelling to holy sites in Mecca and Medina, however, in a bid to kickstart tourism Saudi Arabia began issuing visas to visitors for attending cultural and sporting events in 2018.

In 2017, the kingdom announced a multi-billion dollar project to turn 50 islands and other pristine sites on Red Sea into luxury resorts.

The kingdom is also developing historic sites like centuries-old Mada’in Saleh. This site is home to sandstone tombs of same civilisation which built Petra, the Jordanian city.