Get your bulky cameras ready, unfold your maps and make sure your fanny pack still fits snugly. World Tourism Day every September 27, raises awareness of the need for accessible tourism all over the planet.
World Tourism Day is the result of the work done by the UN’s specialized agency — the World Tourism Organization (WTO). If you’ve ever strolled through a charming, perfectly-preserved European village or town, you’ve probably seen the WTO at work. Boosting local economies and ensuring sustainable tourism are but a few of the benefits of the WTO.
More importantly, on World Tourism Day, the WTO makes sure that travel is accessible for everyone, including those with disabilities and folks with low-income. Whether you’re walking with a cane or rolling in a chair; the world is open for business to you and your friends. So, get traveling!
World Tourism Day Activities
Treat a normal day like a vacation
Today, take a step back from your normal routine and consider: If I were on vacation in my hometown, what would I do? Where would a tourist go for the day? By checking out your own turf through the eyes of a tourist, you’ll support local businesses and you may see your town from a new perspective.
Get the word out
The key to continuous improvement in global tourism is economic stability and sustainability. Educate yourself on the best ways to see a new country, city, or village in ways that create a positive impact.
Plan a trip
If you’ve been putting off that vacation, use World Tourism Day as an opportunity to make those plans. Talk to friends and family with special challenges, either physical, financial or both; who may want to travel but have never been able to plan a trip. Together, you can help and encourage each other, following the message of the WTO that tourism is for all.
Why We Love World Tourism Day
It creates jobs
All over the world, even in its most remote corners, tourism has become a dependable source of jobs. In the U.S. alone, the travel, tourism and hospitality industry supported 7.6 million jobs in 2015. This means one out of every 18 Americans is employed in tourism. When done responsibly, tourism can create jobs in areas where unemployment has risen due to unavoidable factors like automation.
It’s a cash cow
In 2015, international tourism generated $1.5 trillion in export earnings. This can be a tremendous benefit for smaller, under-developed communities. Developing a sustainable tourism ecosystem is paramount for ensuring these earnings are distributed among the community. Thanks to the work of the WTO, these areas are seeing smart tourism strategies put in place.
It creates a better world
Sure, the site of yet another lost tourist in your hometown may induce a small groan, but the reality is that traveling and seeing new places is good for our minds and good for our society. So, start planning your next trip!