A very famous and often cited quote by Lau Tzu goes something like this:
All it takes is a single step to begin a thousand-mile long journey.
Call it wanderlust, the spirit of adventure or just a break, travel is fundamental to human existence. The stories we create and the memories we make while travelling enrich our soul and shape our worldview to a large extent. By taking a break from the mundane routine of daily life via travelling, we get the chance to expose ourselves to new places, new people and new perspectives. While of course making our contribution to the economy of the tourist spots we visit.
To honour and celebrate all the important ways which travel contributes to our lives, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation had started World Tourism Day in the year 1980. And there is a lot to know about World Tourism Day and travel overall, so let us get started!
- It is observed on this day every September
- Every year touches upon a new theme
- The day is dotted with events
- Tourism is constantly expanding
- Tourism’s contribution to global GDP is significant
- Some interesting stats on tourism and tourists
- Sustainable tourism is always a core agenda
- Growth rate of global tourism
- This is the country with the highest number of tourists
- World Tourism Day quotes
When is World Tourism Day celebrated you ask? On the 27th of September every single year since it began in 1980! It is not an official public holiday, mind you, so do not get your hopes up. But it is a day when the members of the UNWTO get together to discuss the performance and future of tourism with a presentation on UNWTO’s global tourism investment framework among other things.
One of the great things to know about World Tourism Day is that UNWTO comes up with a theme every year, which serves as the core agenda of their discussions every year. Each theme is directed towards improving the state of tourism in an ethical and responsible manner. This year’s theme is Tourism and Green Investment. The theme for the year 2022 was Rethinking Tourism, while that of 2021 was Tourism for Inclusive Growth.
World Tourism Day activities involve quite a few different events. Festivities of the day begin with an opening ceremony and a welcome note. The day then progresses to include a host of events such as the presentation on the year’s theme, panel discussions, speeches, awards ceremonies and closing remarks. The event can spill over to two days. Every year, a different country hosts the event and this year’s host is Riyadh in Saudi Arabia.
And do you know what paved the way for tourism to become a booming industry? The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Yes, you have not read it wrong! When the Universal Declaration of Human Rights deemed travel and holidays as the right of every individual, the world of tourism witnessed an exponential growth on a global scale. Fascinating, right?
GDP or also what is known as Gross Domestic Product is a way to measure the value created by the production of goods and services in any country during their financial year. Tourism falls under the category of services and tourism-related activities such as shopping from local bazaars come under the goods section of a nation’s GDP. According to statistics, tourism makes up for 10% of the world’s GDP and 1 in every 10 jobs belongs to the tourism industry. That is a massive contribution if you come to think of it.
As we said, of the many World Tourism Day activities discussing the key stats of tourism is a vital part. Let us take a look at some of these stats. As we all know the COVID pandemic had dealt a massive blow to tourism due to the travel bans in place everywhere. However, if we glance at the stats, we can see that there has been a major improvement since.
According to the data released by UNWTO, the first quarter of 2023 saw international arrivals reaching 80% of their pre-pandemic level, which is a marked improvement. Approximately 235 million tourists have been estimated to travel within the same time period, which is twice as much as it was in 2022.
On the dark side of things, waste and pollution have also been a part of the tourism and travel industry. Sustainable tourism was introduced as a means to combat the negative effects of tourism on the environment and its people. Sustainable tourism is deeply focused on creating a travel experience that minimises negative environmental, social and economical impact thereby improving the experience of tourists as well as of the hosting community. Call it the mindful way of travelling but it is the need of the hour.
Despite the pandemic setback, the global tourism industry has shown a healthy growth rate. As per industry pundits, the global tourism market is expected to increase to 5.4% CAGR within the period of 2020 to 2030. In fact, the size of the global tourism market is expected to reach US$854.70bn in the year 2023. Those are promising figures.
Did you know that France is the country with the most number of annual visiting travellers in 2023? The country so far has had 117,109,000 travellers! Mexico holds the second spot in the list. Other countries in the top 5 include the USA, Italy and Spain.
Quotes on travel are as old as time. If you want to get into the spirit of the day, here are top 5 World Tourism Day quotes to inspire you:
- “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine
- “People don’t take trips, trips take people.” – John Steinbeck
- “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust
- “Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert
- “Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember and remember more than I have seen.” – Benjamin Disraeli
There you have it! From discussing when World Tourism Day was celebrated to learning all about how it began and what it stands for, we hope this helps students and kids in quenching their curiosity about this day. At EuroKids, we make it a point to educate kids about the different important days of the world so we can help expand their worldview. If you are keen on knowing more about the top practices we follow in our preschools across the country, be sure to visit us.