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World Tourism Day 2018: Did you know why we celebrate it?

A surge in tourism, both local and international, is important for the development of its people socially, culturally and economically.

travel Updated: Sep 27, 2018 11:23 IST
Saumya Sharma
Saumya Sharma
Hindustan Times, Delhi
Travel,Tourism,World Tourism Day
Tourists and travellers, both must remain mindful of not spoiling the environment through practices that can’t be reversed(Photo by Yatharth Roy Vibhakar on Unsplash)

Started in 1980 by The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), World Tourism Day (WTD) is celebrated worldwide annually on September 27. This day aims at raising awareness among masses regarding the potential that tourism holds in order to contribute to sustainable development, thus impacting a country’s economy. September 27 was chosen as the date to mark the annual celebrations as the Statutes of the UNWTO were adopted, on this day, in the year 1970.

Tourism impacts economies, communities, society and its people every minute of every day. A surge in tourism, both local and international is important for the development of its people socially, culturally and economically. While several avenues have been opening up and more places for travellers to go to without any hiccups, it’s also important that sustainable tourism is understood and practiced on a large scale.

In case you’re wondering what sustainable tourism is, it’s the concept of visiting someplace as a tourist with the intention of making a positive impact on the environment, society, and economy. What’s imperative though is that tourists or travellers both remain mindful of not spoiling the environment through practices that can’t be reversed. It’s almost as simple as using dustbins to discard waste and limiting the use of paper or plastic. Responsibility is important for us in the present day as what we do today is going to affect posterity, and Mother Nature deserves some love in return for what’s been given to us naturally.

The official celebrations this year will take place in Budapest, Hungary, while other celebrations will take place worldwide too. In India, the celebrations will begin in Goa and are organised by Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC). WTD celebrations in the Capital and in Goa are also coinciding with the concluding day of the 11-day Paryatan Parv held between September 16 and 27.

The theme this year is Tourism and the Digital Transformation and will help explore opportunities provided to tourism by technological advances like big data, artificial intelligence and digital platforms.

The official celebrations will include the announcement of the semi-finalists of the first-ever UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation) Tourism Start-up Competition. The competition was organised in order to give visibility to start-ups with innovative ideas that are capable of revolutionising how we travel and enjoy tourism.

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First Published: Sep 27, 2018 11:22 IST