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Why World Heritage Day Is Important

18 April, 2017

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With a glorious past of 4.543 billion years, our planet Earth has seen some dramatic events, changes, and even the rise and fall of civilisations. Thus it is no surprise that Planet Earth houses an innumerable count of remarkable sites, structures and monuments. Some of these are recognised by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. It's also called International Day For Monuments and Sites 2017.

Heritage is something we inherit from our ancestors, be it natural or man-made, tangible or intangible. The 18th of April is recognised and celebrated as World Heritage Day globally and was first started in the year 1982 with the approval of UNESCO. On this day, events are held and discussions are made on what can be done to preserve our heritage sites and also glorify them in order to increase tourism and hence revenue. Every year, these events are held based on a theme selected for that year. The theme for this year is decided to be Sustainable Tourism in order to commemorate United Nations’ International Year of Sustainable Tourism, 2017.

Sustainable Tourism refers to bringing about positive changes in tourism both as a tourist and as a host country. This is to ensure that the legacy of the heritage site continues being glorified and also to ensure that the site is not depleted or worn off. While sustainable tourism or even preserving heritage sites as a whole is something to be planned and done at the governmental level for drastic change, we as common people can contribute in many small ways to this process. Here is what you, both as a host citizen and as a tourist, can do to contribute to these efforts:

  • Good tourism always goes hand in hand with a good environment surrounding the tourist spot. A good environment refers to clean surroundings, pollution free area and many other aspects of the kind. As citizens, even a simple act such as not littering the place we visit can go a long way in preserving it.
  • Due to tourism now being a norm and not a luxury, several places have lost their beauty and charm. By staying in eco-conscious hotels and resorts, we can reduce the impact we have on these places.
  • A heritage site is called so because it is associated with the past. The past is what moulds the culture of that particular region and without that culture, the whole point of a heritage site is diluted. Hence, as senior citizens, it is our foremost responsibility to pass on the culture for generations to come.
  • As tourists, we must be considerate towards our host country and city, and make our contribution by not damaging their sites in any way.
  • Also, we can spread a good word about the place to help them increase their tourism and also write about our experiences as a responsible tourist.

image courtesy http://entertainstuff.com/

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