It is often said that it is the youth who will lead the future generation. Remarkably, the gift of youth-hood is the golden phase of enthusiastic resilience in life — a stage where we have the capacity to grab hold of knowledge in an easy manner. Through the looking glass of the world, the youth have a significant role in re-shaping the erroneous loopholes of the threats that the modern world has to confront.
Be it pollution, environmental degradation, extinction of endangered species, war, climate change and the whole extravaganza that leads to an imbalance in our ecosystem, they have existed and observed all the chaos with whispers in their heads hoping for a better world.
In most cases, the youth may be considered victims of violence, and flag bearers of tantrums and shenanigans. They may be hot-blooded in an attempt to fulfil their own desires without a cause, but deep down, there is always an inner voice that enables them to set things right.
As tourism is the fastest growing industry universally in which impact can either cast a negative or positive outcome, future stakeholders and initiatives are no one else but the youth. It is a sector that is immensely inclined towards the skills and potential of youth empowerment on larger feasible ambiance. On a global scheme, they can be shining exemplars and prodigies if they are provided a better platform or a window of opportunity where their voices can be heard in imparting knowledge about the whole concept, scenario and requirements of the industry.
In the bigger picture, will their voices be heard if they were given a better privilege? Will there be a better development if they can expertise their knowledge and skills? By any chance, if they are looking towards a better future by pursuing a career in the tourism industry for the development of their own native places, what would be the outcome if all their endurances and visions go in vain?
Academic tourism is a new trend where young bright minds become bold risk-takers in pursuing a career to re-shape the function of the tourism industry in a peaceful accord. Definitely, without peace, there can be no progress in the travel industry. Take a closer look at Middle-east countries, for an instance, including Kabul and Syria.
Therefore, knowledge bearers hold the key to unlocking the loopholes of the tourism sector where they are exposed to a new learning with a positive outcome of aspiring innovations. Awareness, job opportunities, workshop training and experiential learning are the sole boosters of knowledge and experiences in utilising skills professionally in reality, keeping in mind a peaceful, safe and secure travel.
The North-eastern region, comprising of the seven sisters endowed with green vegetation in the lap of nature, is an exquisite site for promotion of rural tourism. Awareness plays a key role here in uplifting the livelihood of local communities, especially the youth in rural areas. However, I must say that there should be a peaceful and cordial bondage between guests and the hosts.
On one hand, tourists must set limits in their timings of visits so as not to cause any damage to the natural habitat or traditions of the local people. On the other hand, it is an obligation of the host community to maintain a cordial relationship with their guests as they are the source of income generation. The host community should not mimic the lifestyle or outlook of the tourists as such practices can lead to a decline of local culture.
Thus, the multiplier effect of the industry can elevate and reach its peak without any leakage in the system. When all dealings proceed peacefully, the destination will flourish and lead to a better social integration. Projects can be implemented by the state government in model villages, where degree holders who have dived academically in tourism administration can utilise their skills in opening a door to better employment generation.
Events, when progressed peacefully in a hospitable aura between the guest and the host, can imprint memories of a lifetime on visitors as well as frequent travellers — an exhibition to embrace the best of both world. The Hornbill Festival in Nagaland is a stupendous example of peaceful travel where tourists have an eventful opportunity to glimpse the wonders of the Naga culture and heritage. In return, the Nagas give them warm hospitality and a jovial feeling of home away from home. The youth are the pinnacle of success of the festival where their skills and knowledge are required in every aspect.
As UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterras stated, “It is imperative that we rebuild tourism in a safe, equitable and climate-friendly way.” It is time we rise and promote the slogan of responsible travelling through sheer introspection. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) aims to restore sustainable tourism through this horrendous pandemic of darkness, taking the art of travelling to be a mirror of the growth of global economy with a sufficiently clean outcome. Once the portal of Covid-19 subsides, peaceful, discernible regulations and protocols of the travel industry can result in an innovative and empowered youth as recipes of the best human resource.
If we look at the current situation, the world is in perplexity. As tourism upholds the economic growth and progress of a nation, it is time to realise and safeguard the existence of our surroundings, which we take for granted on a daily basis. With imposed lockdowns, wild animals fluttered peacefully in their own surroundings without any human intervention.
We realised that we have taken so much from Mother Earth that provides us our needs to the utmost. The tourism marketing can be innovated in a sustainable environment; it can be a rehabilitation to restore the chaos we have caused, leaving only a footprint and memories behind in our places of visit. Unemployment only leads to illiteracy and misleading routes, so tourism is a great way to generate youth employment.
Martin Luther King Jr. was in tranquil when he quoted, ‘Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at the goal.’ Yes, peace is not a tangible object that can be bought or sold. It has to be shown through actions and full-proof evidence. Youth is a boon where we should live every day with the best potential within us. So, by embracing the bestowed peace and power with the youth within us, we can deliver a change, for the good, for the better.