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World Tourism Day

World Tourism Day

Every year on September 27, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) raises awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. The date is particularly important in the current context. 

FOR 40 YEARS ~ At its 3rd session in Spain in September 1979, the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (WTO) decided to establish World Tourism Day, which was first celebrated in 1980. This date represented a high point in the history of tourism: the anniversary of the adoption of the UNWTO statutes on 27 September 1970. In addition, this day also marks the end of the high season in the northern hemisphere and the beginning of the high season in the southern hemisphere. It is therefore a time when the subject is ver y much on the minds of people all over the world. Every year, at the same time, events are organized in several countries worldwide to celebrate Tourism. 

SUSTAINED GROWTH ~ Over the last sixty years, tourism has become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. According to UNWTO, “between 1950 and 2015, global tourist arrivals increased from 25 million to 1,300 million per year. par le secteur touristique mondial se sont envolées, passant de 2 milliards de dollars américains à 1 260 milliards. Le secteur touristique représente aujourd’hui près de 10% du PIB (Produit intérieur brut) mondial, et près d’un emploi sur dix. ». 

Guadeloupe beach / Crédit photo : Marco Gazzato Shutterstock

UNTIL 2020 ~ The 2020 pandemic has severely impacted the sector. “The most recent figures clearly show the importance of restarting tourism as soon as it is safe to do so,” says Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of UNWTO. He notes that “the collapse of international tourism is endangering the livelihoods of millions and millions of people, especially in developing countries. Governments in all regions of the world have a dual responsibility: giving priority to public health while also protecting jobs and entrepreneurial activity. They must also maintain the spirit of cooperation and solidarity that has characterized our action in the face of this common challenge, and guard against unilateral decisions that could undermine the trust that we have worked so hard to cultivate,” he added. 

SUSTAINABLY ~ In addition to technical assistance and training initiatives, UNWTO runs the “Tourism4SDGs” platform. It aims to engage policy-makers, international organizations, universities, donors, businesses and all tourism stakeholders in strategies to implement Sustainable Development Goals. This co-creation space allows its users to access resources, add their initiatives, encourage collaboration, and share content related to tourism and sustainable development through 3 sections: learning, sharing and acting for a “sustainable, responsible and accessible to the greatest number” tourism.” 

Author: Agnès Monlouis-Félicité



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