For decades, tourism has always improved the quality of people's lives.
It's opened the door to things such as leisure, cultural awakening, and education on countless destinations, but it has also made an impact on the development of country economy.
According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), tourism has become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world and has become a source for socio-economic progress. Countries worldwide rely on tourism for cultural, political, social and economic growth.
On September 27, 1970, the World Tourism Organization began celebrating World Tourism Day to raise awareness on the role of tourism around the world and to demonstrate how it affects social, cultural, political and economic values.
The date was chosen to specifically highlight the interest in tourism at the end of the high season in the northern hemisphere and the start of the season in the southern hemisphere.
Today, we celebrate World Tourism Day by sharing tips on how to raise awareness on sustainable tourism:
Preserving the Culture: One of the greatest advantages within the travel industry is the diversity of culture. With that said, it's important to create tourism awareness by preserving historical landmarks, implementing positive measures to promote access to sites of tourism interest, and ensuring heritage information is provided to the public.
Staying Eco-Friendly: Despite being one of the largest economy sectors in the world, tourism is also one of the major causes of pollution and carbon dioxide production, as stated by EcoBnB.
The awareness of this issue has led travel experts to push enviornmentally safe alternatives, including vegetarian food, public transportation, and eco-friendly accomodations. According to the CMIGreen traveler study, these are all growing trends for the responsible traveler.
Empowering the Tourism Community: With close linkages to other sectors, tourism allows the opportunity for new jobs and generating trade options. According to the United Nations, decent work is one of the main sustainable development goals of travel.
In 2013, HotelSpeak stated over 4.7 million new jobs were created due to tourism activity and that trend increases as more travel resources such as hotels, attractions, and flights continue to grow.
Today, tourism is beyond the definition of leisure. It is an industry that accomodates tourists from all around the world and builds income for countries. It explores heritage, creates jobs and has made way for eco-friendly alternatives to enrich travel experiences.