World tourism day – what are the first thoughts that come into your mind after reading these words? It is said that we realize the real value of something only when it is gone. However, this can be proved wrong, in the case of tourism. Because tourism is that activity that is loved by all. it can be said that we already know the value of tourism, but because of the global pandemic of coronavirus, and the resulting lockdowns that have brought the whole world to a halt – we have started loving and respecting the concept of tourism even more, than ever before.
We miss tourism, we miss traveling, which has become an important part of our lives. The travel and tourism industries all over the world are one of the worst-hit industries in this global health crisis, as all nations have closed their boundaries for an indefinite period. And after 4 months from now, is the world tourism day 2020!
Tourism and Tourist
Before talking about what is world tourism day, let’s talk about what is tourism or what it means to be a tourist. Tourism is a temporary traveling activity undertaken by a person, within or outside his homeland, with a number of purposes such as education, research, entertainment, medical reasons, professional reasons, etc. So, a tourist is someone who temporarily travels to another region/country than his own, for various reasons.
Countries all over the world have different beautiful places, monuments, sites, and institutions that can be a tourist attraction, so they develop their sites and institutions according to the demand and needs of the national and international tourists who visit them. The tourism industry plays an important role in the economic development of the country, and forms a large share of income for the nation, especially in those countries that have some of the most beautiful tourist places in the world. Tourism, over the years, has helped in connecting the nations and societies and increase the harmony.
The UNWTO, meaning the United Nations World Tourism Organization decided to raise awareness at the international level, about the need and importance of tourism in people’s lives. Thus, in the year 1970, the statutes of UNWTO were adopted, and the world tourism day celebration started taking place every year, since 1980. UNWTO decided to celebrate tourism at a world level, to raise awareness in the global community, about the role of tourism in all the major aspects of society and man’s life.
The chief aim of celebrating world tourism day is to highlight the significance of global tourism, and to bring together the whole world as a single community, to promote and prosper their tourism, to take a step forward towards sustainable development through tourism.
World Tourism Day 2020
The world tourism day is celebrated every year on 27th September. The world tourism day 2020 will also be celebrated on the same day. The global level celebrations are led by UNWTO, and throughout the world, the tourism organizations, tourist agencies, and tourism enthusiasts organize different types of activities and celebrations for world tourism day. And since 1997, the UNWTO declares a host country every year, as a partner of UNWTO, in the world tourism day celebrations.
In the year 2019, India was honored to be the host country for world tourism day 2019, and the world tourism day 2020 host country will be Djibouti and Addis Ababa, in Africa. The decision of world tourism day 2020 host country was declared in 2019 itself.
The decision to celebrate world tourism day 2020 in Djibouti and Addis Ababa was taken by the European Council on Tourism and Trade Executive Board. Both of these countries were selected in the previous year as the World’s capital of culture and tourism, and are globally acknowledged centers of culture, heritage, and tourism. The city of Addis Ababa has also won the World’s Best Tourist Destination Award of 2015, thereby increasing its importance. Thus, both of these are a perfect choice as world tourism day 2020 host country.
World Tourism Day 2020 Theme
Apart from the host country, the UNWTO also decided a unique theme every year, on which the world tourism day celebrations of that particular year are based. Since the beginning of the celebration of world tourism day, UNWTO has come up with some of the most interesting themes that will highlight the connection and importance of tourism with every aspect of our life. The theme for 2019 was ‘Tourism and Jobs: Future for All’, and the world tourism day 2020 theme will be ‘Tourism: Building Peace! Fostering Knowledge!’
The aim of celebrating this year’s world tourism day will be promoting peace through tourism and fostering knowledge. As we can see that nations after nations are facing threats from some anti-social groups like the terrorist organizations, that aim to harm the peace and harmony of the world. If tourism can connect the nations, then it should also be able to connect the efforts of these nations to promote and protect the peace. Thus, tourism can be a good medium for peace-making, an idea which will be discussed and promoted in world tourism day 2020.
Though we are eagerly looking forward to the world tourism day 2020, we are surrounded by so many uncertainties. We don’t know what will be the situation of a global pandemic of coronavirus, and what would be the condition of every country, at that time. We don’t even know if tourism will be resumed till then, or not, and if yes, then what would be the status of intranational as well as international tourism. The world tourism day is just four months away from now, and there are a lot of anticipations regarding where we would be standing at that time.
But positivity is important, being optimistic about the future is important. We must hope for the best, and keep trying our best to fight off this evil, and rise again, like a phoenix. And let’s hope and start working towards one aim – that will be/we must be able to celebrate the world tourism day 2020 in full enthusiasm! Hoping for the best, to happen soon!