World Tourism Day – September 27
In 1980 UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) marked September 27 as World Tourism Day. The main purpose of this day is to promote and support responsible, sustainable, and universally accessible tourism and how tourism affects social, cultural, political, and economic values worldwide.
History of World Tourism Day
September 27 was chosen as World Tourism Day to mark the adoption of the Statutes of the UNWTO. The adoption of these Statutes is considered a milestone in global tourism. They have framed the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism which is designed to guide key-players in tourism development. Their main aim is to help maximize the tourism sector benefits and reduce its impact on the environment, cultural heritage, and societies across the globe.
Late Ignatius Amaduwa Atigbi, a Nigerian national, was the one who proposed the idea of celebrating September 27 of every year as ‘World Tourism Day’ and was honored in 2009 in Ghana on International World Tourism Day celebration. The theme for the first World Tourism Day held in 1980 was “Tourism’s contribution to the preservation of cultural heritage and to peace and mutual understanding.”
Since then UNWTO annually observes this day and has chosen geographical order in designating a host country every year for the celebration. In 2018 World Tourism Day was celebrated in Budapest, Hungary with the theme “Tourism and the digital transformation“. India hosted the World tourism Day 2019 on the theme ‘Tourism and Jobs: A better future for all’. Djibouti and Addis Ababa were selected as the host cities and nations for the celebration of World Tourism Day 2020 on the theme ‘Tourism: Building Peace!
There is no public holiday marked on this day though there are various events and festivities held by various tourism organizations and government bodies. India is a booming tourism and travel market in Asia and is expected to grow more in the coming years. The tourism sector will create more and better jobs for youths, with new technologies incorporated will enhance the skills of tourism employers. Hence UNWTO will focus on skills, education, and jobs throughout the year.
The Secretary-General of UNWTO said “Tourism can help us build a better future for everyone. Around the world, the tourism sector is the leading source of employment, supporting many millions of jobs and driving economies forward, both at the local and the national level.”
While the Indian Tourism and Culture Minister said “Tourism is one such activity which extends to various other sectors and thus is responsible for creating direct and indirect employment requiring varying degrees of skills and allows for quick entry into the workforce for youth, women and poor. The tourism sector, therefore, is not only an engine for economic growth but also an effective tool for poverty alleviation among the marginalized segments of the society.”
In 2019 at the initiative of the President of the European Council on Tourism and Trade was decided to mark the celebration by awarding the title of TOURISM PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR to personalities at the frontline of tourism and cultural promotion, people involved in bringing to the fore previously unknown destinations and landmarks of historical importance and place them in the tourism circulation.