World Tourism Day (WTD) is celebrated each year on 27 September, since 1980 to mark the anniversary of the adoption of the Statutes of the UNWTO on this day in 1970.
Tourism refers to travel for recreational, relaxation or business purposes. It is a wonderful connecting thread between visitor and host community. It promotes contact and intercommunication between people of different backgrounds and thus lays the foundation for tolerance. As Mr Ban, UN's secretary-general has rightly said- “In a world struggling for peaceful coexistence, tourism can bridges and contribute to peace”.
Tourism, of late, has experienced continual growth and has become one of the fastest growing economic sectors worldwide. In present times, it is one of the major players in international commerce, and serves as one of the main income sources for many developing countries. It has become a source of revenue and job creation in developing countries.
The aim and purpose was to create & raise awareness about the importance of tourism and highlight its social, cultural, political and economic value and impact among the international community. UNWTO has also developed a “Global Code of Ethics for Tourism” to minimise the negative impacts of tourism on the cultural heritage of a nation and also on the environment.
Tourism is the best way which provides the opportunity to learn about a new culture and to experience it first-hand.
The United Nations World tourism Organisation (UNWTO) designates a host country and a specific theme each year for the celebration for World Tourism Day. Like, “Tourism and the quality of life” (1981), Tourism: a factor of tolerance and peace (1996), “Tourism & Biodiversity” (2010), “Tourism Linking Cultures” (2011).
For 2013: Tourism and Water
On World Tourism Day 2013 the UN advised the people and tourism industry to promote water preservation and water management and “to devise innovate solutions to ensure sustainable access to water resources worldwide".
It urged the tourism community to take this unique opportunity to examine the challenges facing water management in tourism and take up measures to protect and promote water resources while creating benefits for local populations around water tourism destinations.
For 2014: Tourism and Community Development
WTD 2014 is being held under the theme Tourism and Community Development and Mexico will be the global host. It will focus on the ability of tourism to empower people and to provide them with skills to achieve change in their local communities.
What do People do/can do
To promote tourism, special offers and fares, free entries, and discounts are announced. Sites of tourist interest, Regions, destinations, food, culture etc. are promoted. Different types of competitions, such as photo competitions and award presentations are held.
General public is encouraged to share photos that celebrate cultural and environmental awareness in travel and tourism.
Tourism enthusiasts who love experiencing different ways of life, discovering new food and customs and visiting cultural sites are motivated to travel.
Travellers can contribute by following simple steps such as switching off the lights in their hotel rooms and unplugging appliances when not in use.
They can make a difference, despite small, by saving energy and water by taking a shower instead of a bath, or choosing not to have the bed linen and towels changed every day.
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