27th of September was established as World Tourism Day by the UN World Tourism Association (UNWTO) 1980. The aim of the day is to raise awareness of the importance of tourism for the international community and its positive effects, socially and economically, on societies worldwide.
The theme for 2012 is Tourism and Sustainable Technology: Powering Sustainable Development. Official celebrations will take place in Maspalomas, Spain. Watch live footage of the celebrations here!
Tourism plays an important role in highlighting a brighter energy future; one where the entire population of the world has access to modern, efficient, affordable energy services. The three most important steps in which tourism helps us to achieve this future are creating jobs, lifting people out of poverty, and helping to protect the planet.
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 major interest to thousands of people worldwide.
This year, Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon has issued the following message:
“One of the world’s largest economic sectors, tourism is especially well-placed to promote environmental sustainability, green growth and our struggle against climate change through its relationship with energy.”
World Tourism Day is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of tourism to global well-being. As we travel, let us engage with other cultures and celebrate human diversity. On this observance day, let us recognize tourism as a force for a more tolerant, open and united world.
How can I celebrate World Tourism Day this year?
Different types of competitions, such as photo competitions promoting tourism, as well as tourism award presentations in areas such as eco tourism, 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. Additionally, some governments host competitions, campaigns, or offer special tours to promote their region.
Read more about World Tourism Day here.
Also in September: