World Tourism Day on Sept 27: Significance and history

Each year, on September 27th, World Tourism Day is commemorated with the objective of promoting international tourism. This annual event was instituted by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to emphasize the role of the tourism industry in fostering cultural connections.

The concept of World Tourism Day was introduced by the UNWTO in 1979 and officially inaugurated in 1980. On this occasion, nations and a variety of organizations unite to advocate for tourism, encouraging individuals to rediscover and explore facets of history, luxury, heritage, cultures, places, and adventure.

For World Tourism Day 2023, the UNWTO has chosen the theme “Tourism and green investment,” underscoring the importance of channeling more focused investments toward the sustainable development goals outlined by the UN—a roadmap for a better world by 2030.

The UNWTO’s website elaborates on the opportunity presented by the substantial disruptions in the tourism sector caused by COVID-19, suggesting a chance to redefine and recalibrate tourism investments in order to pave the way for a more sustainable future for people, the planet, and prosperity.

This year, Saudi Arabia assumes the chairmanship of the UNWTO Executive Council, bringing together over 500 government officials and industry leaders from 120 countries who will convene in Riyadh from September 27th to 28th.

Tourism plays a vital role in promoting mutual understanding, forging connections, safeguarding cultural heritage, and preserving the environment. It contributes to a more harmonious world while also driving digitalization and innovation.

The UNWTO website emphasizes the significance of investing in people, given the projection that the global tourism workforce will require millions of hospitality graduates annually by 2030, coupled with an additional 800,000 jobs annually necessitating specialized vocational training. This commitment ensures equal access to quality tourism training for those desiring to join the tourism sector on a global scale.

World Tourism Day 2023 stands as an important platform for commemorating the accomplishments of the tourism sector in the post-COVID-19 era.

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