World Tourism Day (WTD) is commemorated each year on 27 September.
The timing of World Tourism Day is particularly appropriate in that it comes at the end of the high season in the northern hemisphere and the beginning of the season in the southern hemisphere when tourism is of topical interest to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.
Its purpose is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political, and economic value. The event seeks to address global challenges outlined in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and to highlight the contribution the tourism industry can make in reaching these goals.
Every year, UNWTO invites all interested parties to take part on 27 September each year in the special celebrations taking place in their respective country or holiday destination.
World Tourism Day (WTD) Themes
WTD 2021 – Tourism for Inclusive Growth
WTD 2020 – Tourism and Rural Development
WTD 2019 – Tourism and Jobs: a better future for all
WTD 2018 – Tourism and the Digital Transformation
WTD 2017 – Sustainable Tourism – A Tool for Development
WTD 2016 – Promoting Universal Accessibility
WTD 2015 – One Billion Tourists, One Billion Opportunities
WTD 2014 – Tourism and Community Development
WTD 2013 – Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future
WTD 2012 – Tourism and Sustainable Energy: Powering Sustainable Development
WTD 2011 – Linking Cultures
WTD 2010 – Tourism and Biodiversity
WTD 2009 – Tourism – Celebrating Diversity
WTD 2008 – Tourism: Responding to the Challenge of Climate Change
WTD 2007 – Tourism Opens Doors for Women
WTD 2006 – Tourism Enriches
WTD 2005 – Travel and transport: From the imagination of Jules Verne to the reality of the 21st century
WTD 2004 – Sport and tourism: Two living forces for mutual understanding, culture and the development of societies
WTD 2003 – Tourism: A driving force for poverty alleviation, job creation, and social harmony
WTD 2002 – Ecotourism, the key to sustainable development
WTD 2001 – Tourism: A Tool for Peace and Dialogue among Civilizations
WTD 2000 – Technology and Nature: Two Challenges for Tourism at the Dawn of the 21st Century
WTD 1999 – Tourism: Preserving World Heritage for the New Millennium
WTD 1998 – Public-Private Sector Partnership: The Key to Tourism Development and Promotion
WTD 1997 – Tourism: A leading activity of the twenty-first century for job creation and environmental protection
WTD 1996 – Tourism: A factor of tolerance and peace
WTD 1995 – WTO: Serving world tourism for twenty years
WTD 1994 – Quality staff, quality tourism
WTD 1993 – Tourism development and environmental protection: towards a lasting harmony
WTD 1992 – Tourism: A factor of growing social and economic solidarity and of the encounter between people
WTD 1991 – Communication, information, and education: powerlines of tourism development
WTD 1990 – Tourism: An unrecognized industry, a service to be released (“The Hague Declaration on Tourism”)
WTD 1989 – The free movement of tourists creates one world
WTD 1988 – Tourism: education for all
WTD 1987 – Tourism for development
WTD 1986 – Tourism: A vital force for world peace
WTD 1985 – Youth Tourism: Cultural and historical heritage for peace and friendship
WTD 1984 – Tourism for international understanding, peace, and cooperation
WTD 1983 – Travel and holidays are a right but also a responsibility for all
WTD 1982 – Pride in travel: Good guests and good hosts
WTD 1981 – Tourism and quality of life
WTD 1980 – Tourism’s contribution to the preservation of cultural heritage and to peace and mutual understanding
Hundreds of millions of people around the world depend for income on this energy-intensive sector. Sustainable energy will allow tourism to continue to expand while mitigating its impact on the environment. Many in the tourism industry have already shown leadership in developing and deploying clean energy solutions, cutting energy consumption and carbon emissions in some regions by up to 40 percent. Advances include the growing use of energy-efficient fuels in air travel, sustainable procurement strategies, and increasingly popular carbon offsetting schemes.
Everyone has a role in sustainable tourism. We commend the tourism community for its growing commitment to sustainable energy. We also thank the tourists who play their part by offsetting their own carbon emissions, choosing ecologically friendly destinations and providers, or simply by postponing having their towels laundered. Every action counts. One billion international tourists will travel to foreign destinations. Imagine what one act multiplied by one billion can do.
We appeal to all who work in and enjoy the benefits of this global sector to join in building a more sustainable future for all.
Tourism: An economic and social phenomenon: Over the decades, tourism has experienced continued growth and deepening diversification to become one of the fastest-growing economic sectors in the world. Modern tourism is closely linked to development and encompasses a growing number of new destinations. These dynamics have turned tourism into a key driver for socio-economic progress.
Today, the business volume of tourism equals or even surpasses that of oil exports, food products, or automobiles. 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. This growth goes hand in hand with increasing diversification and competition among destinations.
This global spread of tourism in industrialised and developed states has produced economic and employment benefits in many related sectors – from construction to agriculture or telecommunications.
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