This year tourism is badly affected and frequent travellers are bearing brunt of the pandemic. However, this does not deter celebrating World Tourism Day which is celebrated annually and it falls on 27th September 2020 which the UN celebrates with the theme of “Tourism and Rural Development”. The event not only highlights tourism industry importance in preserving and promoting culture but also to think about the industry’s future.
Through its social, cultural, political and economic value, the tourism sector contributes to the sustainable development goals. But at these unprecedented times, there has been a risk of Job losses and particularly Women, Youth and workers of informal economy are at risk.
Due to pandemic, the UN predicted that about 100-120 million jobs are at risk as per the data by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). This year, we need to sustain and redevelop the tourism industry that contributes to 1.2-2% of world’s GDP.
Also, due to the tourism crisis, there is a threat to wildlife conservative, protection of world cultural heritage etc. Due to sudden loss, there are many livelihoods at risk which will increase the cases of poaching and with 90% of world heritage sites are closed the cultural heritage will be at risk in all parts of the world.
This year, the international day observation at a critical moment where the world is reeling under pressure and the situation is particularly hard on youth, women from rural communities where tourism is their lifeline.
or the first time in the 40-year history of World Tourism Day, the official celebration will not be hosted by a single Member State of the United Nations specialized agency. Instead, nations from the Mercosur bloc (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, with Chile joining with observer status) will serve as joint hosts. This co-hosting agreement exemplifies the spirit of international solidarity that runs through tourism and which UNWTO has recognized as essential for recovery.
World Tourism day history
Annual World Tourism Day has been celebrated by the UN. It was on this day in the year 1970, the statues of UNWTO was adopted and considered a milestone in global tourism. The UNWTO first observed World tourism day on September 27, 1980, and has been celebrated ever since.