“Rebuilding tourism in a safe, equitable, climate-friendly way.” – United Nations
World Tourism Day is celebrated each year on September 27th. Its purpose is to create awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political, and economic value. The 2020 edition of World Tourism Day has the theme of “Tourism and Rural Development”. It will celebrate the role that tourism plays in providing opportunities outside the big cities and preserving cultural and natural heritage all around the world.
For the first time in 40 years, the official celebration of World Tourism Day will not be hosted by a single Member State of the United Nations specialized agency. Instead, nations like Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Chile will serve as joint hosts. This co-hosting agreement exemplifies the spirit of international solidarity.
The actual tourism crisis is a threat to wildlife conservation initiatives and to the protection of the world’s cultural heritage. The sudden fall in tourism revenues has cut off funding for biodiversity conservation. With 90% of World Heritages Sites closed, humanity’s cultural heritage is at risk in all parts of the world.
According to the United Nations, on this World Tourism Day, the pandemic represents an opportunity to rethink the future of the tourism sector, including how it contributes to the sustainable development goals, through its social, cultural, political, and economic value. Tourism can eventually help everyone move beyond the pandemic, by bringing people together and promoting solidarity and trust, crucial ingredients in advancing the global cooperation so urgently needed at this time.
Tourism is the third largest industry in the world after chemicals and fuels. Travelling brings hope, prosperity, and understanding to many people all over the world. World Tourism Day looks at how to enable a powerful global transformative force to contribute to preserve the environment, rather than cause its destruction.