World Tourism Day
Many people around celebrate the United Nations’ (UN) World Tourism Day, which is on September 27 each year. The day aims to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic values.
Travel has been said to broaden the mind, exploring the world and seeing the broad vistas and cultures that the people of the world offer. Tourism can describe travel for pleasure both foreign and domestic, and has been happening as long as long as mankind. Tourism Day is your opportunity to broad your own world a little, find a location you’ve always wanted to make time to visit, and finally get around to making time to do it. So find your inner traveler and get out there and experience the places you’ve always wanted to see.
What it’s all about!
The United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) invites people worldwide to participate in World Tourism Day on September 27 every year. The UNWTO Secretary-General annually sends out a message to the general public to mark the occasion. Many tourism enterprises and organizations, as well as government agencies with a special interest in tourism, celebrate the event with various special events and festivities.
Different types of competitions, such as photo competitions promoting tourism, as well as tourism award presentations in areas such as ecotourism, are held on World Tourism Day. Other activities include free entries, discounts or special offers for the general public to any site of tourism interest. Government and community leaders, as tourism business representatives, may make public announcements or offer special tours or fares to promote both their region and World Tourism Day on or around September 27.
Tourism has experienced continued growth and deeper diversification to become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. Modern tourism is closely linked to development and includes more new destinations for tourists. These dynamics turned tourism into a key driver for socio-economic progress. Tourism has become one of the major players in international commerce, and represents at the same time one of the main income sources for many developing countries.
The UNWTO decided in late September 1979 to institute World Tourism Day, which was first celebrated on September 27, 1980. September 27 was chosen as the date for World Tourism Day because that date coincided with an important milestone in world tourism: the anniversary of the adoption of the UNWTO Statutes on September 27, 1970.
The UNWTO believes that the date for World Tourism Day is appropriate because it comes at the end of the high tourist season in the northern hemisphere and the start of the tourist season in the southern hemisphere, when tourism is of topical interest to many people worldwide, particularly travelers and those working in the tourism sector. Each year has a different theme – for example, “Tourism – Celebrating Diversity” was designated as the theme for 2009, with Ghana as the event’s host country for that year.
In 2017, the celebration of this World Day focuses on how sustainable tourism can contribute to development and it is held in Doha (Qatar).
Sustainable tourism is defined as tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities. It should thus make optimal use of environmental resources, respect host communities and ensure viable, long-term economic operations so that benefits are equitably distributed among all stakeholders.
International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development
Recognizing the importance of international tourism in fostering better understanding among peoples everywhere, in leading to a greater awareness of the rich heritage of various civilizations and in bringing about a better appreciation of the inherent values of different cultures, hereby contributing to the strengthening of peace in the world, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
This year provides a unique opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to sustainability and move forward to ensure the positive impact of well-managed tourism on inclusive and equitable growth, sustainable development and peace.