Today is World Postal Day, the anniversary of the Universal Postal Union, and a day to celebrate the role of the postal sector in our every day lives. The date October 9th was declared as World Postal Day in Tokyo in 1969, in the 16th Universal Postal Union Congress.

Historically, postal services meant individuals who travelled large distances either by foot or on horseback, delivering important messages from village to village. Although the role of postal services has dramatically changed in the digital era, the role of postal services is still vital in many remote areas of the world. Even in areas with a high level of access to digital communication, postal services are important for distributing goods bought from online stores.

As someone who has spent many interesting and happy moments in
Beirut, I was delighted to be signposted to a website showing the world’s largest collection of postcards and photos of the Old Levant region depicting a century in the life of the region – The Foad Debbas Collection.   It’s surprising to contrast the life then and now and reflect that most of the photos were taken less than 100 years ago. The photo here was taken in 1929.

In December Ethical Traveler released the 2010 version of its annual  “The Developing World’s Best Ethical Destinations” report. The report identifies countries that are “serious about preserving their natural assets, promoting mindful travel, and building an economy in which local communities reap the benefits of tourist revenue.”