World Tourism Day is celebrated every year on the 27th of September. It has been celebrated on that day since 1980 when the world renowned governing body of tourism, The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), proclaimed it as such. It was the late Nigerian national Ignatius Amaduwa Atigbi who proposed the idea of marking September 27th of every year as World Tourism Day, he was only later recognized for his contribution in the year 2009. In recent years the Covid-19 pandemic and various other global afflictions have slowed down or even put a complete stop to tourism in some countries, Sri Lanka being one of them. Tourism is essential to all countries for the growth of the economy. People love to plan trips and/or holidays to exotic locations and learn about the different cultures.
Throughout the years World Tourism Day had always had a theme, but it was only in 1998 that it was decided that in addition to a theme there shall also be a host nation for World Tourism Day. This provided the much needed international exposure for the then and now developing countries to showcase their attractions and national beauties to the world. The first host nation for World Tourism Day was Mexico and the theme for that particular year was “Public-private sector partnership: the key to tourism development and promotion.” This year the UNWTO has decided that the theme for World Tourism Day will be “Rethinking Tourism” and the host nation for 2022 will be Indonesia. The year 2020 brought about a special circumstance in which multiple countries would be the host nations for World Tourism Day, These countries were Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile. The theme for that year was “Tourism and rural developments.”
Sri Lanka was the host nation of World Tourism Day in 2007 and the theme for that year was “Tourism opens doors for women.” This theme was decided in order to support the United Nations 3rd Millennium Development Goal: Promoting gender equality and women empowerment. The festivities were held in Bentota.
The continuous celebration of World Tourism Day is vital for many countries and tourists in general. Exploring the unknown and learning about different places, cuisines and cultures play a pivotal role in the life and personal growth of any person. It is simply not enough to read about the beauties of places around the world, it must be experienced.
Written by : Rtr.Diresh David
Thumbnail Designed by : Rtr.Aron Fernando