World Tourism Day is a day which is celebrated on September 27th of each year and is designed to bring attention to the importance of tourism to the international community. Countries all over the world, both big and small, depend on tourism to for its economic survival and to highlight their cultural, social and political values. This day was established on the 27th of September because that is when the United Nation’s World Trade Organization’s (UNWTO) statutes were originally adopted.
History of World Tourism Day
On September 27th, 1970, the International Union of Official Travel Organization (IUOTO) held a Special Assembly meeting in Mexico City and adopted the Statutes of the World Tourism Organization. Ten years later, in 1980, the day would be officially recognized as World Tourism Day.
Today, the purpose of World Tourism Day is to raise its profile in the public eye and to show the general public how tourism affects not only the economic values of a country or region but also how it affects the social, political and cultural values of said country or region. At its session in Istanbul, Turkey in October of 1997, the United Nation’s World Trade Organization’s General Assembly decided to designate a host country each year to act as a partner during the celebration of World Tourism Day. In 2006, Europe was chosen and in 2011, the Middle East was chosen.
World Tourism Day Customs & Celebrations
World Tourism Day is celebrated in a number of different ways. Amusement parks, museums and other cultural venues that want to attract tourists and foster tourism will usually offer some form of free or reduced entry on this day. However, one of the most important ways for people to celebrate World Tourism Day is to pick a country that you want to visit and visit it.
Every year, there is a different theme for World Tourism Day. The theme of the first one in 1980 was “Tourism’s contribution to the preservation of cultural heritage and to peace and mutual understanding.” In 1991, the theme was “Communication, information and education: power lines of tourism development” and in 2016, it was “Tourism For All.”