Every year on the 27th of September, World Tourism Day is observed. It is an initiative of the United Nations to raise awareness among all international community about the importance of tourism and what are its economic, political, and social values. The event that is conducted specifically on the World Tourism Day focuses on all the global challenges that have been outlined in the United Nations Millennial Development Goals (MDGs), and then addresses the contribution that the tourism sector can make as a whole in helping nations reach all these goals.
The first time that World Tourism Day was observed globally was in the year 1980, and it was in the year 1979 that during the third session that the UNWTO General Assembly had officially decided that 27th of September from the following year would be observed as World Tourism Day. The reason that it was 27th of September that was chosen as the date for this day was the fact that the same date in the year 1970 marked a very important milestone in the tourism sector, which happened to be the day when the UNWTO statuses were adopted. The timing of the observance of this day too is in perfect sync with the change of seasons in both the hemispheres, as it marks the end of the high season in the northern hemisphere, and the commencement of the season in the southern hemisphere, which is when exactly the idea of going on tours dawns in the minds of over millions of people all over the world.
Every year, a new unique theme is adopted to highlight the celebrations of the World Tourism Day, and this year in 2017, the theme is: Sustainable Tourism—a Tool for Development. The theme of last year, that is 2016, was: Tourism for all—Promoting universal accessibility.
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