World Tourism Day 2015 to address global challenges

World Tourism Day 2015 to address global challenges

Kathmandu: World Tourism Day 2015 will be celebrated on 27 September all over the world. The theme of WTD 2015 is “One billion tourists, one billion opportunities” and the official host country Burkina Faso this year.

World Tourism Day is the biggest international event in tourism. Its purpose is to foster awareness among the global community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.The event seeks to address the global challenges outlined in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and highlight the tourism sector´s contribution to achieving these goals.

The UNWTO General Assembly decided to establish World Tourism Day, beginning in 1980. This date was chosen to coincide with an important milestone in world tourism: the anniversary of the adoption of the UNWTO Statutes on 27 September 1970.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on World Tourism Day

“This year´s World Tourism Day highlights the global potential of tourism for socio-economic development. With more than one billion international tourists now traveling the world each year, tourism has become a powerful and transformative force that is making a genuine difference in the lives of millions of people.
The potential of tourism for sustainable development is considerable. As one of the world’s leading employment sectors, tourism provides important livelihood opportunities, helping to alleviate poverty and drive inclusive development.
As tourism revolves around encounters between different peoples, the sector can foster multicultural understanding and raise awareness on the need to preserve cultural and natural heritage.
As the world prepares to adopt a new sustainable development agenda, tourism should be recognized for its ability to create jobs, promote local culture and products and champion the conservation and sustainable use of marine and terrestrial habitats.
Let us work together to maximize the immense potential of tourism to drive inclusive economic growth, protect the environment and promote sustainable development and a life of dignity for all.”

UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai

“This year´s World Tourism Day is an opportunity to celebrate the transformative potential of one billion tourists.Today, more than one billion tourists travel to an international destination every year. These billion tourists have made tourism a leading economic sector, contributing 10% of global GDP and 6% of the world´s total exports.
Yet these big numbers represent more than just economic strength – they reflect tourism´s vast potential and increasing capacity to address some of the world´s most pressing challenges, including socio-economic growth, inclusive development and environmental preservation.
As a sector behind as many as one in eleven jobs worldwide, tourism is a valuable source of livelihood for millions of people. Built around the millions of cross-cultural encounters happening every day in different corners of the world, tourism is also a gateway to greater understanding of the world beyond our borders, the first step in building peace and between communities and nations.
Tourism is more than just about reaching a destination – tourism has a global reach. Every time we travel, we become part of a global movement that has the power to drive positive change for our planet and all people.
This 27th of September, let us celebrate the value of the “One Billion Tourists” and work together in making tourism a true instrument of opportunity and inclusion. Let us all turn the power of one billion into a genuine force for good.”