World Tourism Day 2021: Check theme, background, significance and interesting facts about the day
Every year, September 27 is celebrated as World Tourism Day. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has designated World Tourism Day 2021 as a day to focus on 'Tourism for Inclusive Growth'.
World Tourism Day 2021: Every year, September 27 is celebrated as World Tourism Day. According to the official website of United Nations Organisations (UNO), tourism is one of the most important economic sectors and it employs one in every tenth person on Earth and provides livelihoods to hundreds and millions more. In some countries, tourism represent more than 20 per cent of their GDP.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, had a massive social and economic impact and as a result of it both the developed and the developing economies faced a huge hit, as per the UN website. It is believed that the restart of tourism will help in the recovery and growth of the economies. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has therefore designated World Tourism Day 2021 as a day to focus on 'Tourism for Inclusive Growth'.
Background and significance
The constant growth of the tourism sector during the last six decades reflects more progressive access to tourism thanks to the decline in the cost of transport and the world-wide growth of the middle classes. The recognition of the right to holidays in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the improved adoption of labor rights in many countries have also supported its development. These factors also serve as a backdrop for the resilience shown by tourism in recent years. The sector has experienced almost uninterrupted growth despite challenges such as the global economic crisis and natural disasters.
The various contributions of tourism encouraged UNWTO to institute World Tourism Day in a meeting that took place in Spain, commencing the first celebration of the observance in the year 1980. This date was chosen to coincide with an important milestone in world tourism: the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the UNWTO Statutes on 27 September 1970.
COVID-19 vaccination crucial for tourism revival
According to the UNO, the biggest crisis in the history of tourism continues into a second year. The international tourist arrivals were 85 per cent below 2019 levels (or a 65 per cent drop on 2020), between January and May. However, despite a small revival in May, the emergence of COVID-19 variants and the continued imposition of restrictions are weighing on the recovery of international travel. Meanwhile, domestic tourism continues to rebound in many parts of the world.
On this World Tourism Day, the COVID-19 pandemic represents an opportunity to rethink the future of the tourism sector. Tourism has a unique ability to make sure nobody is left behind, as recognized by the Second Principle of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs.
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