This year’s World Tourism Day, held on September 27 , will be focused on Sustainable Tourism – a Tool for Development, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) announced on Thursday. Celebrated in line with the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the Day will be dedicated to exploring the contribution of tourism to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
World Tourism Day has been celebrated since 1980 on September 27, the day in which the Statutes of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) entered into force. Peace and Dialogue, Energy, Accessibility, World Heritage and Water and Tourism have been some of the topics tackled on the 37 previous editions of World Tourism Day.
“Last year alone, 1.235 million travelers crossed international borders in one single year. By 2030, this 1.2 billion will become 1.8 billion. The question, as we celebrate World Tourism Day 2017, is how we can enable this powerful global transformative force, these 1.8 billion opportunities, to contribute to make this world a better place and to advance sustainable development in all its three pillars,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai.
The official celebrations of World Tourism Day 2017 will be held in Qatar, as decided by the UNWTO General Assembly. The event will be structured around two sessions, focused on “Tourism as a driver of economic growth”, and “Tourism and the Planet: committed to a greener future”. In addition, a high-level think tank will be conducted with the aim of opening the debate on the potential of the sector to enhance cultural preservation and mutual understanding.
On the Agenda will also be the presentation of the Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy, which advances sustainable approaches. The initiative is aligned with the Qatar National Vision 2030, which focuses on Economic, Social and Human Development and prioritizes tourism as a catalyst to progress towards a more diversified economy.
Together with the events conducted in Qatar, the World Tourism Day will be celebrated across the globe. UNWTO calls upon the tourism community, including travellers, private sector, governments and civil society, to join the celebrations and share them here.