Happy World Tourism Day!
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive social and economic impact on the industry. Both developed and developing economies have been hit. And marginalized groups and the most vulnerable have been hit hardest of all. The restart of tourism will help kick start recovery and growth and it is essential that the benefits this will bring are enjoyed widely and fairly.
UNWTO has therefore designated World Tourism Day 2021 as a day to focus on Tourism for Inclusive Growth. This is an opportunity to look beyond tourism statistics and acknowledge that, behind every number, there is a person. UNWTO invites its Member States, as well as non-members, sister UN agencies, businesses and individuals to celebrate tourism’s unique ability to ensure that nobody is left behind as the world begins to open up again and look to the future.
World Tourism Day, celebrated each year on 27 September, is the global observance day fostering awareness of tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value and the contribution that the sector can make towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.
“The human desire to travel and explore is universal, which is why tourism must be open for everyone to enjoy. The social and economic benefits that tourism brings must be available to everybody. World Tourism Day 2021 highlights the power of ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth’. By celebrating this day, we state our commitment that, as tourism grows, the benefits that come with it will be felt at every level of our broad and diverse sector, from the biggest airline to the smallest family business.” said Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General UNWTO.
The date marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Statutes of the Organization in 1970, paving the way for the establishment of UNWTO five years later. It was at its third session (Torremolinos, Spain, September 1979), that the UNWTO General Assembly decided to institute World Tourism Day, commencing in 1980.
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.
This year’s official celebrations take place in the capital of Cote d’Ivoire, Abidjan, hosted by the Minister of Tourism and Leisure Mr. Siandou Fofana who said at the event’s opening ceremony “‘Tourism for inclusive growth’, resonates as an anthem of unity of the entire global tourism community. It is a new opportunity for the revival of our sector, with a view to the prosperity of our valued populations. The tourism industry has demonstrated, through its transversality and job-creation capacity, that it is a powerful lever to fight against poverty and to promote the social and economic inclusion of vulnerable groups. This is the essence of the inclusive nature of Tourism”.
You can watch the official celebrations here.