Tourism towards inclusive growth for all

05:00:57 - September 23, 2021

With the theme of Tourism for Inclusive Growth, World Tourism Day this year aims to spread widely and fairly the benefits of tourism, especially in the context of difficulties caused by the pandemic.

World Tourism Day, celebrated each year on 27 September, is the global observance day fostering awareness of tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value and the contribution that the sector can make towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.

With its economic and social benefits, tourism can support and offer opportunities for communities in society. Tourism promotes peace and understanding through shared opportunities, values and goals. Tourism can transform the lives of individuals and communities, so in many countries around the world, the impacts of tourism are linked to national goals for poverty reduction.

World Tourism Day 2021 takes place in a special context when the Covid-19 pandemic over the past year has caused enormous impacts on the global economy and society. The marginalized groups and the most vulnerable are those who have been hardest hit.

Therefore, this year, UNWTO designates the theme of World Tourism Day 2021 as Tourism for Inclusive Growth, which aims to restart the tourism sector to accelerate the recovery and growth, providing widely and fairly benefits to all.

UNWTO has mentioned the impacts of the pandemic on marginalized groups, as an additional 32 million people were pushed into extreme poverty in 2020. Especially, women, low-paid workers, youth, and the elderly, indigenous communities, and differently-abled people have few resources and opportunities to overcome difficulties.

World Tourism Day this year is “an opportunity to look beyond tourism statistics and acknowledge that, behind every number, there is a person.”

UNWTO affirms the special role of tourism, as an important pillar in most of the Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goals 1 (no poverty), 5 (gender equality), 8 (decent work and economic growth), and 10 (reduce inequalities). Therefore, UNWTO is committed and looks forward to the global work together to ensure that no one is left behind as the world begins to reopen and look to the future.

With the goal of restarting tourism and promoting inclusive growth, UNWTO focuses on:

Partnerships: Strengthen the support of the United Nations at country level, working with other UN agencies and international organizations to ensure the growth of tourism brings great benefits outside of the sector itself and helps advance wider progress.

Advocacy: Work with governments to ensure domestic and international tourism is inclusive, taking into account the needs and goals of a diverse range of stakeholders and those who may be left behind.

Looking to the future: Unlocking the potential of tourism ecosystem and value chains, facilitating tourism investment to promote sustainable and inclusive growth. Expanding access to tourism education so everyone can benefit from the future growth of the sector.

UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili sent a message on the occasion of World Tourism Day 2021: “The human desire to travel and explore is universal, which is why tourism must be open for everyone to enjoy. So too must the many social and economic benefits that tourism brings be available to everybody.”

“By celebrating this day, we state our commitment that, as tourism grows, the benefits that come will be felt at every level of our broad and diverse sector, from the biggest airline to the smallest family business.”

Tourism towards inclusive growth for all


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