About World Tourism Day
The day is observed to highlight the importance of tourism's social, cultural, political, and economic value across the globe.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, “Tourism is one of the world’s most important economic sectors. It employs one in every ten people on Earth and provides livelihoods to hundreds of millions more.
“World Tourism Day will be celebrated as the shift towards tourism is being recognized as a crucial pillar for development and as progress is well underway. May 2022 marked the first time the United Nations General Assembly held a special debate on tourism, illustrating the historic relevance of the sector. Tourism is now on the agenda of governments and of international organizations in every global region.”
Since 1980, World Tourism Day has been commemorated each year on September 27th, with celebrations led by UNWTO. Its purpose is to foster awareness among the global community of tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value and the contribution the sector can make in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.
The day marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Statutes of the Organization in 1970, paving the way for the establishment of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
"Tourism and Rural Development" is the motto of 2020 World Tourism Day to encourage countries around the world to look to tourism to drive recovery in rural communities where the sector is a leading employer and economic pillar.
Addressing the occasion, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili has said: “All around the world, tourism empowers rural communities, providing jobs and opportunity, most notably for women and youth. Tourism also enables rural communities to hold onto their unique cultural heritage and traditions, and the sector is vital for safeguarding habitat and endangered species. This World Tourism Day is a chance to recognize the role tourism plays outside of major cities and its ability to build a better future for all.”
In 2019, in line with UNWTO’s overarching focus on skills, education and jobs throughout the year, World Tourism Day was celebrated with the topic 'Tourism and Jobs: a better future for all'.
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