- Economic Impact: Tourism is a major global industry, employing one in ten people worldwide, which amounts to approximately 790 million individuals. It is also noteworthy for employing a higher percentage of women (54%) compared to the global workforce average (47%). The economic benefits of tourism are significant, particularly for developing countries and Small Developing Island States, where it can contribute to economic growth and job opportunities.
- Cultural Preservation: Tourism provides opportunities for Indigenous and minority groups to share and preserve their heritage and traditions. By sharing their cultures with tourists, these communities can generate income and maintain their practices, helping to safeguard their way of life.
- Force for Positive Change: Tourism is not just about moving people to different destinations; it can also be a force for positive change. By promoting responsible and sustainable tourism practices, the industry can contribute to economic growth, cultural preservation, and environmental protection.
- UN Sustainable Development Goals: The theme of “Tourism and green investment” for World Tourism Day emphasizes the need for more investment and targeted approaches to achieve the United Nations‘ Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. These goals encompass various aspects of global development, including poverty reduction, environmental sustainability, and economic growth.
The three main tenets of this year’s World Tourism Day, “For the People, For the Planet, For Prosperity,” highlight the importance of:
- For the People: Encouraging businesses in the travel and tourism industry to invest in education and skills-based learning opportunities for younger generations. This is crucial because the industry is expected to require millions of new hospitality graduates and a growing skilled workforce by 2030.
- For the Planet: Emphasizing sustainability and encouraging investment in climate-friendly solutions and innovations to minimize the environmental impact of the travel and tourism industry. This is particularly vital as many tourism-dependent destinations are vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change.
- For Prosperity: Focusing on increased digitization and entrepreneurship within the industry, as well as offering greater opportunities for equity for young people and women through training programs. This supports the sector’s growth and inclusivity.
In summary, World Tourism Day serves as a reminder of the positive impacts and potential benefits of the travel and tourism industry. It highlights the importance of responsible and sustainable tourism practices, and the need for increased investment and action to achieve global development goals while safeguarding the environment and promoting economic growth and cultural preservation.