Celebrating World Tourism Day 2015 at Namdapha National Park

Greener Pastures celebrating World Tourism Day 2015 with villagers and children of Namdapha National Park, Arunachal Pradesh

World Tourism Day 2015 LogoCelebrated every year on September 27 ,World Tourism Day is an event which fosters awareness among the international community on the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.

This year’s focus is on the transformative potential of #1billiontourists; defining the more than one billion tourists who every year travel to an international destination, a movement which has made tourism a leading economic powerhouse, providing for 10% of world’s GDP and 6% of its total exports.

Just like the previous years, Greener Pastures once again celebrated World Tourism Day this year by bringing in participation from children and rural communities. This time, we organized the event at the Chakma tribal village of M’pen near Namdapha National Park in remote Changlang district of eastern Arunachal Pradesh. We chose the national park due to its importance in biodiversity and of its potential of benefiting from tourism.

Tree planting on the occasion of World Tourism Day 2015 with village children of Namdapha National Park, Arunachal Pradesh

The event was held at the Government Primary School where children, villagers and those involved with tourism sector in the region gathered to celebrate the occasion. The session started with a group of girls welcoming the visitors with a traditional Chakma song. An awareness speech was delivered by Bidyut Barua, a resident naturalist and our birding guide at Namdapha National Park who explained to the children the importance of conservation of forests and birdlife in the region. He further focussed on the importance and the role played by birds in the symbiotic relation between man and nature, especially in the dispersing of seeds. Our team member Bornav Raychaudhary then explained the theme of this year’s World Tourism Day of “One billion tourists, one billion opportunities”, emphasizing on hospitality, economic benefits and responsible aspects which are important to tourism. The villagers learned about the scope of sustenance and livelihood through opportunities from tourism in the region. The locals were also encouraged to preserve and promote their Chakma culture and to welcome travelers visiting Namdapha.

EVERY TIME WE TRAVEL, WE BECOME PART OF A GLOBAL MOVEMENT THAT HAS THE POWER TO DRIVE POSITIVE CHANGE FOR OUR PLANET AND ALL PEOPLE. ~ TALEB RIFAI, UNWTO SECRETARY GENERAL

A tree plantation drive was then organized in the school campus which drew active participation from the villagers and students. An art competition was also held for the school children on the theme of nature. Students were divided into junior and senior categories. Pupils from both these categories displayed very impressive artistic skills during the contest and we encouraged their teachers to further improve such talents. The prizes were distributed by the Guest of Honour, Khoda Yakang, tourism officer at Miao for the Department of Tourism, Arunachal Pradesh. Sunil Bikash Chakma, a child from class 8 displayed exceptional art skills and took away the first prize. An acknowledgement speech was then delivered by the village headman thanking the participation from the villagers, the visitors and our team at Greener Pastures. The event concluded with a group photo of all the participants. The beautiful rainforests of Namdapha National Park, the enthusiasm of the locals, especially the children and the village headman, left us further motivated to better the lives of people living in these pristine fringes of the modern world.

 

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