Tourism is an activity done by an individual or a group of individuals, which leads to motion from one place to another, country to another for performing a specific task.
It is also a visit to a place or several places with the purpose of entertainment, which leads to an awareness of other civilisations and cultures, also increasing the knowledge of countries, cultures, and history
Tourism has a direct impact on the national revenue for all touristic countries, it creates work opportunities, industries, and several investments to serve and raise nations performance and cultures, also distributes their history, civilisation, and traditions.
It is therefore an important industry that depends on culture and science and has experienced continued growth and deeper diversification to become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world.
Modern tourism is closely linked to development and includes more new destinations for tourists. These dynamics has turned tourism into a key driver for socio-economic progress.
Tourism has also become one of the major players in international commerce and represents at the same time one of the main sources of income for many developing countries.
Since 1980, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation had celebrated World Tourism Day on September 27. This date was chosen in 1970, the day the Statutes of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, UNWTO, were adopted. The adoption of these Statutes is considered a milestone in global tourism.
The purpose of this day was to raise awareness on the role of tourism within the international community and to demonstrate how it affects social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide.
At its Twelfth Session in Istanbul, Turkey, in October 1997, the UNWTO General Assembly decided to designate a host country each year to act as the Organisation’s partner in the celebration of World Tourism Day.
Furthermore, at its Fifteenth Session in Beijing, China, in October 2003, the Assembly decided that the following geographic order be followed for the World Tourism Day celebrations: 2006 in Europe, 2007 in South Asia, 2008 in the Americas, 2009 in Africa and 2011 in the Middle East.
The theme for the 2011 was ‘Tourism Linking Cultures’ hosted by Egypt while the World Tourism Day, WTD for 2012 would be held under the theme “Tourism and Sustainable Energy: Powering Sustainable Development,” it would be celebrated officially in Maspalomas, Spain on September 27.
This year’s theme aims at highlighting tourism’s role in a brighter energy future; a future in which the world’s entire population would have access to modern, efficient and affordable energy services.
Tourism as one of the world’s largest economic sectors, has already taken important steps towards this future, improving energy efficiency and increasingly using renewable energy technologies in its operations. These steps are creating jobs, lifting people out of poverty and helping to protect the planet.
Many in the tourism industry had already shown leadership in developing and deploying clean energy solutions, cutting energy consumption and carbon emissions in some regions by up to 40 per cent, through initiatives such as the Hotel Energy Solutions toolkit developed by the UN World Tourism Organisation and the UN Environment Programme, UNEP.
Other concrete advances include the growing use of energy-efficient fuels in air travel, sustainable procurement strategies and increasingly popular carbon offsetting schemes.
According to the message by the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-Moon, for this year’s celebration, “Everyone has a role in sustainable tourism. I commend the tourism community for its growing commitment to sustainable energy. I also thank the tourists who play their part by off-setting their own carbon emissions, choosing ecologically friendly destinations and providers, or simply by postponing having their towels laundered. Every action counts. This year, one billion international tourists will travel to foreign destinations. Imagine what one act multiplied by one billion can do.”
Tourism is leading the way in some of the world’s most innovative sustainable energy initiatives. Energy efficient upgrades to aircraft, the shift to renewable fuel for aviation and cruise liners, energy technology solutions in hotels, as well as countless other initiatives are placing tourism at the forefront of the clean energy transformation.
“Tourism is at the forefront of many of the latest and most innovative sustainable energy initiatives.
“One only has to think of the investments being poured into renewable energy sources for aviation, or the energy technology solutions implemented in hotels around the world, to know that sustainable energy is a major priority for the sector”, UNWTO secretary general, Taleb Rifai said.
Sustainable energy initiatives in tourism are creating economic opportunities and jobs for millions, whether in tourism, energy or other sectors. As UNWTO findings show, the return on investment in sustainable energy can be enormous, enabling tourism businesses to grow and create jobs. At the same time, tourism infrastructure in developing countries is helping to bring modern energy services to some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.
With international tourist arrivals reaching one billion in 2012, more must be done to guarantee a brighter energy future. Destinations and companies must accelerate their transition to low-emission technologies and embrace existing opportunities to leapfrog conventional options in favor of more sustainable energy solutions.
The United Nations’ World Tourism Organisation, UNWTO, invites people worldwide to participate in World Tourism Day on September 27 every year. The UNWTO Secretary-General annually sends out a message to the general public to mark the occasion. Many tourism enterprises and organisations, as well as government agencies with a special interest in tourism, celebrate the event with various special events and festivities.
Different types of competitions, such as photo competitions promoting tourism, as well as tourism award presentations in areas such as ecotourism, are held on World Tourism Day.
Other activities include free entries, discounts or special offers for the general public to any site of tourism interest. Government and community leaders, as tourism business representatives, may make public announcements or offer special tours or fares to promote both their region and World Tourism Day on or around September 27.
World Tourism Day is celebrated annually on September 27. Its purpose is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. The event seeks to address global challenges outlined in the UN Millennium Development Goals, MDGs and highlight the contribution the tourism sector can make in reaching these goals.