Last updated: 08:12 PM ET, Sun September 27 2015

World Tourism Day 2015: 'One Billion Tourists, One Billion Opportunities'

Destination & Tourism | Michael Isenbek | September 27, 2015

World Tourism Day 2015: 'One Billion Tourists, One Billion Opportunities'

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

World Tourism Day 2015 is upon us, celebrated September 27 each year to commemorate the day the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Statutes were adopted in 1970. The organization is charged with “the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism,” according to the UNWTO website.

This year, the positive economic impact of tourism is being emphasized, reflected in the theme “one billion tourists, one billion opportunities.”

As explained in a recent news release issued by the UNWTO, the theme reflects tourism’s ability to foster economic growth, job creation and development within a given location.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon gives a call to action for the occasion, declaring, “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."

The release calls tourism, which has experienced five consecutive years of growth, “a transformative force (bringing) livelihood opportunities and helps alleviate poverty, making a genuine difference in the lives of millions of people.” It also states that international tourism contributes $1.5 billion to global trade, with a significant share going to Least Developed Countries.

“Every time we travel we are part of a global movement that has the power to drive inclusive development, to create jobs and to build the sustainable societies we want for our future,” said UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai in his World Tourism Day message. “This movement also contributes to build mutual understanding and to safeguard our shared natural and cultural heritage,” he added.

Social media is thrumming with World Tourism Day happenings, an occasion celebrated by locales and tourist attractions around the world: check out Instagram and Twitter: #1billiontourists, #WorldTourismDay, #WTD2015.


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