As we hit the presses World Tourism Day celebrations get underway all over the world. Here in Athens, on September 27, the Hellenic Association of Travel & Tourism Agents and the Hellenic Association of Tourism and Marine Employees, with the support of the Hellenic Tourism Organization, will welcome visitors to Zappeio to celebrate the event from midday till late at night.
The celebrations include a tourism exhibition, cultural events for every age and a reception for government members, opposition party members, regional administration parties, Olympic champions, ambassadors and personages from the cultural and tourism business world. Due to 2004, a special emphasis will be placed on the Games with various videos.
In a general message, the World Tourism Organization says that in our apparently wealthy world, poverty still affects four billion people throughout the world, of which two billion are living with less than one dollar a day.
“It is with this dramatic figure in mind that the Millennium Declaration of the United Nations identifies Poverty Alleviation as one of the most crucial challenges that the international community is facing in the twenty-first century.
”By selecting ’Poverty Alleviation, Job Creation and Social Harmony’ as the World Tourism Day theme for 2003, our 14th General Assembly firmly expressed its will to fully support one of the key issues stated in the UN Millennium Development Goals and, at the same time, recalled the fundamental role of tourism as a positive instrument towards the reduction of poverty, the creation of job opportunities as well as contributing to social harmony. There is an evident ethical need for tourism to support such goals.
”As a major sector of the services economy, tourism is increasingly recognized as contributing to social and economic development as well as a beneficial activity for host countries and local communities to combat unemployment by creating direct and indirect jobs. Tourism can also contribute significantly to rural development, especially in depressed rural areas threatened by the decline of traditional agricultural activities.”