Celebrating World Tourism Day
On the 27th September each year, we support World Tourism day (WTD) - an initiative to raise awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. For 2011, WTD is being celebrated under the theme "Tourism – Linking Cultures."
The theme is a celebration of tourism’s role in linking together the cultures of the world through travel, and will be hosted in the Egyptian city of Aswan Egypt is world famous for its history, scenery, diving and culture and as a result, millions of tourists visit Egypt every year. It is precisely this interaction between the people and cultures of the world, driven by tourism, which is at the heart of the theme.
With millions of people travelling the world each year, never before have so many individuals explored so many places, nor been so exposed to other cultures. This interaction between individuals and communities, and their diverse cultures, leads to tolerance, respect and mutual understanding - the building blocks for a more peaceful world. As the most widely celebrated global day for tourism, World Tourism Day represents an opportunity to address how tourism can help build tolerance and understanding worldwide by serving as a catalyst for communication and exchange between the different cultures of the world.
Travel & Tourism remains the world’s fastest growing economic sector, has played a dramatic role in bringing the world so much closer together The ability of tourism to create deeper, richer global understanding is now more important than ever before, as people across the world get to grips on how other nations, other cultures, other economies and other policies impact their lives. As stated by Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, in a message supporting the importance of the sector, and the occasion of World Tourism Day:
“There is no better way to learn about a new culture than to experience it firsthand. Tourism offers a wonderful connecting thread between visitor and host community. It promotes dialogue and interaction. Such contact between people of different backgrounds is the very foundation for tolerance. In a world struggling for peaceful coexistence, tourism can build bridges and contribute to peace. Tourism’s contributions to development also advance the cause of global solidarity. At a time of profound global economic uncertainty, tourism’s ability to generate socio-economic opportunities and help reduce the gap between rich and poor, is more important than ever.”
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 topical interest to hundreds of thousands of people.
"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, let us recognize tourism as a force for a more tolerant, open and united world."