#WorldTourismDay: The world comes together in celebration

What do a cycling competition, a 10-kilometer marathon, a selfie contest, and free entry to museums have in common? Source: Shutterstock.

AS this year’s World Tourism Day looms, the world is coming together, lining up a variety of activities and programmes in celebration.

The theme for this year’s World Tourism Day is Tourism and the Digital Transformation, which seeks to raise awareness on the potential contribution of digital technologies to sustainable tourism development while providing a platform for investment, partnerships, and collaboration towards a more responsible and inclusive tourism sector.

Halfway across the globe, the historical and cultural Spain city of Almeria is marking this year’s World Tourism Day a selfie competition in which both locals and visitors are invited to snap pictures of themselves near landmarks.

These landmarks, a total of 35 spaces, include beaches, monuments, food and drink spots, and outdoor areas.

Almeria City Council promotion spokesperson Carolina Lafita said it would allow locals and visitors to showcase the best of the city.

“The challenge is to show the range of possibilities offered by Almeria City for travelers. We want citizens themselves to become guides,” Sol Times quoted Lafita as saying.

Almeria City Spain

View of Almeria old town and port from the castle. Source: Shutterstock.

In Ghana, a nation on West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, three cycling competitions dubbed “King of the Mountain” will be held as part of the World Tourism Day celebrations on Sept 28, 2018.

According to Modern Ghana, the cyclists would be competing for prizes and will go through some major towns in Kwahu – perfect for sightseeing while quickly zipping through town.

About 90 cyclists compromising 60 competitive and 30 technical handlers (coaches and instructors) will be involved in the cycling competition.

Ghana World Tourism Day

Young dancers practice a traditional dance on the beach in Ghana. Source: Shutterstock.

Iran, a sovereign state in Western Asia and the second-largest country in the Middle East, is home to more than a handful of museums and cultural-historical sites.

Some of the more intriguing (and therefore popular) ones are the National Museum of Iran, Carpet Museum of Iran, Treasury of National Jewels, Saadabad Museum – Palace, Reza Abbasi Museum, Golestan Palace, Glassware & Ceramic Museum of Iran, Abgineh Museum, and Niavaran Palace Complex.

This World Tourism Day, the country’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (CHHTO) will offer free admission to visitors. All museums and historical sites across Iran affiliated with the organization will allow free entry on Sept 27, 2018, Tehran Times reported.

the National Museum of Iran.

The exterior of the National Museum of Iran. Source: Shutterstock.

Meanwhile, closer to home, the Indian destinations of Patna, Bodh Gaya, and Nalanda an array of recreational events are being held to celebrate ‘Paryatan Parv’ (tourism festival) from Sept 18, 2018, onwards.

These events, ranging from an hour-long yoga camp at the ruins of the Unesco World Heritage-listed Nalanda University to a photography contest in Bihar, will culminate in World Tourism Day on Sept 27, 2018.

An hour-long meditation camp was also held at Buddha Smriti Park at Patna and Mahabodhi Mahavihara, the first world heritage site in Bihar.

Closer to Bhutan, the Indian state of Sikkim pulling out all stops to make its World Tourism Day celebrations the grandest ever, featuring a competitive marathon aimed at promoting tourists spots in the district.

“The marathon will start from Pelling, a major tourist hub in West Sikkim and traverse along the popular tourist spots in the region including Sanga Choeling monastery, Ranidhunga, and Darap, a traditional Limboo village,” NORTHEAST NOW reported.

Open to all age groups, the winners of the 10-kilometer marathon will be awarded trophies and cash prizes.