We, Indians, have come a long way from the time when holidays were mostly family trips to places of pilgrimages and involved travelling in rickety buses, staying at dharamshalas and taking tons of family portraits with a backdrop of the temple with our Kodak film cameras. However, we still are learning to travel, and cannot, as yet, call ourselves seasoned, mature, responsible tourists.
I worked in a beach resort in Goa for a year, and I had tourists coming in from all parts of the world. My job was quite exciting as it involved communicating with tourists coming to the resort and making them feel at home in this place foreign to them.
Being a part of the hosting team of this resort, I had delightful, enriching experiences interacting with some of the tourists—the more hippie, garrulous ones. Quite some storytellers they were. Others were polite and well-mannered, but would mostly keep to themselves and we were absolutely okay with that. And then there were also some who would become a pain in the neck with their annoying idiosyncrasies, and we couldn’t wait for those tourists to leave. I'm trying not to sound like a chauvinist, but we, Indians, are among the most troublesome and irresponsible tourists. Not that foreigners are not rude, or exploitative, or overly fastidious, but from my experience, I've found out that many of us have not yet imbibed the even the most common practices of being good guests.