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Every year on the 27th of September, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) observes the World Tourism Day. It got established on September 27, 1980, as it was on this day in the year 1970 that the Statutes of the UNWTO were adopted. The idea was proposed by a Nigerian citizen named Ignatius Amaduwa Atigbi whose contribution was finally recognized in 2009. The underlying idea behind observing the World Tourism Day is to increase awareness about the importance of tourism from various perspectives such as socio-cultural, economic, political, etc. The World Tourism Day activities are mainly focused around highlighting the role of tourism in the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), aimed at addressing some of the most pressing challenges faced by the human society at large.
According to a report by World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Travel & Tourism today contributes about 10 percent of world GDP (USD 7.2 trillion), giving employment to 284 million people i.e. 1 in 11 jobs globally. Although the sector is expected to face several challenges in the years to come, it is set to exhibit a solid growth rate. As a matter of fact, the forecasts for the next decade look quite favorable with a predicted growth rate of about 4 percent. These facts and figures further underline the importance of tourism in today's age.
It was at its 12th session held at Istanbul, Turkey, in October 1997 that the UNWTO General Assembly decided to annually designate a host country as a partner in the celebration of the World Tourism Day. Subsequently in October 2003, during its 15th session held at Beijing, China, it was decided that the following geographic order would be adopted for observing the World Tourism Day festivities: Europe, South Asia, Americas, Africa, and the Middle East in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2011, respectively. This year the World Tourism Day celebrations are being held in Bangkok, Thailand.
This year the World Tourism Day theme is "Tourism for All - Promoting Universal Accessibility". In a world where there are so many poverty-stricken countries wherein people are not able to meet even the most primitive needs of food and shelter, the notion of promoting universal accessibility to tourism can sound a bit sounds misleading. So let's try and understand it in detail. Well, basically the idea is to create such conducive environments that can cater to the needs of one and all, regardless of whether one is traveling or not. Sooner or later, this will allow all sections of the society to benefit from the universal accessibility in tourism. That's precisely why the focus is on calling upon the right for all the world's citizens to savor the unparalleled beauty and incredible diversity of the planet earth.
Every year on 27th September, the internet gets flooded with World Tourism Day photographs, World Tourism Day quotes, World Tourism slogans, etc. The onus is indeed upon us all to spread awareness about the growing importance of universal accessibility in tourism. So, today, I will take the liberty of sharing with you some of the most epic World Tourism Day celebration pictures from across the globe.
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1 Corinthians 13:13 exalts love above faith and hope. And this picture is a living testament. Here is a senior couple trying to capture a moment while celebrating the spirit of the World Tourism Day.
Here is a beautiful specimen of Beach Sand Art commissioned by Tourism & Community Development to mark the World Tourism Day. While such constructions are ephemeral, the spirit is everlasting.
Olongapo City, Zambales, Philippines is known for its World Tourism Day celebrations. While Zambales remains a hot tourist spot throughout the year, the euphoria touches a new high during the weeklong event celebrating the various cultural local activities wherein school students participate in several contests such as poster making, modern dance, slogan making, essay writing, etc. The fun-filled annual event just cannot be missed.
The City of Love, Paris, is nothing like any other city of the word. Throughout the year, couples from all over the globe fly to Paris to experience the divine feeling of love. But things are bound to touch a new high during the World Tourism Day celebrations. Everyone these days is crazy about selfies. Just add Paris and World Tourism Day to the notion and it starts to feel like some grand carnival.
As you are aware, this year the World Tourism Day celebrations are being held in Bangkok, Thailand. As you can see, everyone is geared up for the occasion... commoners as well as the royalty!
Some places in the world have a magical feel about them. But no place on earth can match the magic of Mexico. Some say that it's not just a country but a country made up of 32 countries. When someone talks of Mexico, Quintana Roo automatically comes to mind. The place has some of the most majestic beaches in the world. The World Tourism Day celebrations here are as loud as the Mexican Wave.
India is known for its diversity. Chhau dance, also known as the battle dance, is a specialty of the people of Odisha. The dance-form combines elements of dance and martial arts. The Chhau dance is being performed as part of a colorful carnival organised to mark the World Tourism Day.
Tourism can bring people from different backgrounds together. It can bind them by a common purpose of experiencing something new, thereby allowing them to rise above race, religion, caste, creed, gender, or academic background. Many African nations are still quite backward and tourism can actually help bridge the gap as evident from this photograph from World Tourist Day celebrations last year.
Malaysia is another country known for its cultural heritage. The south east Asian country also happens to be one of the hottest tourist spots in the world. It is also a perfect holiday destination to celebrate the spirit of World Tourism Day. If you have any doubts, this colorful picture would put it to rest.
These photos are taken from a conference organized by Expo Consults and Global Event Management on the occasion of World Tourism Day. It was attended by the Tourism Boards of UAE. This photo collage depicts a majestic sand sculpture display of the key buildings in the major UAE cities.