Tourism and Education
The two words. Tourism and Education are closely interrelated. If education means the harmonious development of our body, mind, and soul, then tourism has certainly a great role to play in the process of education. In Europe and America, it is rightly considered to be an integral part of education. Every student in these countries, after finishing his/her educational career, is expected to undertake a tour of at least some of the important countries of the continent.
Tourism in its modern sense of the term has developed on account of economic prosperity in many parts of the world during the post-War years, together with greater leisure and the revolutionary development and growth of the transport system. Tourism is, however, not a phenomenon. Only it has made new strides. People have been undertaking hazardous journeys for thousands of years either on pilgrimage or in quest of new lands and new ideas.
Tourism today is a movement that not only gears up several other industries but also creates new employment opportunities. Apart from being a major foreign exchange earner, tourism helps in promoting human understanding and cultural exchange.
There is no doubt that tourism has a big role to play in the process of education. It gives a tourist first-hand knowledge of persons, places, and buildings of distant and otherwise known regions. By reading history we learn that the Taj Mahal was erected by Shahjahan. But this knowledge is quite theoretical and, therefore, insufficient.
On the other hand, if we actually go to the spot and see things for ourselves, with our own eyes then our knowledge will be first-hand and permanent. The value of practical experience is far more superior to theoretical knowledge. A piece of theoretical knowledge is acquired only by cramming the passages from books. Such knowledge is liable to be forgotten and lost.
The knowledge gained by practical experience and personal visits is to be retained for a lifetime, easily and vividly. In theoretical knowledge, we depend on the description given by others, which is always subjective. But in practical experience, we learn by ourselves because actually seeing is believing.
Different people see the same object from different angles and form different opinions. In bookish knowledge, we see things through other people’s eyes. Knowledge gained by personal visits widens and broadens our outlook. A tourist can judge and appreciate things better than the professional writers who have seen an object with their own biased eyes and recorded their own biased opinion, giving the events, etc., their own biased color.
Since the dawn of history, tourists have been making a rich contribution to human knowledge. Simultaneously, it helps the development of hotel business, transport and communication, and other connected industries. Since 1982, when the Ninth Asian Games were held in New Delhi, the hotel industry has made big strides in India. Even now lack of initiative in proper perspective is the main reason for the backwardness of tourism.
All the same, there is no denying the fact that tourism has a big role to play in the economy of the nation, (government should, in the years to come, remove the obstructions that stand in the way of the growth of tourism. Considering the value of tourism, schools, and college should arrange educational tours for students. Such facilities should be extended to all students.
Tourism has made a rich contribution to the religion, culture, and economy of different countries. Meghasthenes, Fa-Hein, Itsing, Huien Tsang, and other tourists of yore came to India after surmounting great difficulties. They have written many valuable books about India and its people. From their writings, we get many important clues about the land and the people of India of those days.
In ancient times, tourism was full of difficulties. there was a total lack of transport and communication facilities. People traveled with the help of animals or on foot. Sometimes, they lost there, lives on the way. You may read the travels of Marco Polo to know the difficulties faced by the tourists in the past.
Hence, the bulk of the people in those days remained shut up within their homes and moved out only scarcely. But now things have changed. Today travel has become much easier and enjoyable.
The modern means of transport and communication have revolutionized the scope and extent of tourism. Now people have got more money and more leisure. Then newspaper and magazine boom has widened the horizon of their knowledge and stimulated their curiosity.
These have aroused their desire to move out of their four walls and see the beautiful world around them with their own eyes.
Governments have also risen to the occasion and taken measures to regulate and promote tourism. Tourism today is expected to be a source of economic prosperity. Foreign exchange, a basic necessity in international trade to buy foreign machinery, capital goods, and technology can be earned adequately by developing tourism.
Tourists may be encouraged to avail themselves of the opportunities if and when offered so that tourism forms a part and parcel of our educational curricula. Education in the true sense of the term will be incomplete if tourism is not included in it. So government should take more effective steps to promote tourism.