Why You Should Want to Understand and Participate in World Tourism Day Tali Love September 26, 2018 Travel Tips, Trending Stories I only recently discovered World Tourism Day. I was surprised to learn that this special day, which is celebrated every year on September 27, dates as far back as 1980. The United Nations World Tourism Organization created it because they wanted to raise awareness on the role of tourism within the international community. This educational occasion allows communities, travel organizations and travel leaders to demonstrate how travel and tourism affect social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide. Despite our geographic locations, cultural norms or involvement in the travel industry, many of us can agree that nothing can be more rewarding than taking a break from the regular routine of life by traveling to an unfamiliar destination. Travel allows us to meet new people, discover new customs, try new foods, expand our consciousness, and more. I’ve been chatting with people about World Tourism Day lately, and a few have told me that they have never heard of it and do not feel like it is something that was created for them. Many interpret it as a day to take an extravagant vacation. They view the act as unrealistic and inconvenient on a random day in September. From those that work in tourism to world travelers and even those that have yet to take a trip; World Tourism day can be and should be embraced by the majority. Every day, all over the World new travel routes, tours, destinations, excursions and more are created. This has led to tourism becoming one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world and continues to grow and become more diversified every day. According to the U.S. Travel Association, a non-profit advocacy and lobbying group on behalf of the travel industry, $1,036 billion dollars was spent on travel in 2017. $15.6 million contributed to employment in America, and $2.4 trillion was generated in economic output. Travel is a good thing. The more that we see the world, the more our perception changes. The more our perception changes, the better we become as a human race. But there are millions If you are able to travel in any capacity, I implore you to allow World Tourism Day to be a reminder that you have access to one of life’s most precious gifts. You have the ability to see, learn, and grow, both as an individual as well as collectively with everyone else that takes advantage of travel and tourism. To celebrate the day many communities, travel organizations, national parks, attractions and more make an effort to spread the word, host events, host competitions, offer discounts, do giveaways and more. Some of the most popular competitions are travel photo competitions. I’m happy to share some specific ways that we can all participate in World Tourism Day. Spread the Word The more you learn about World Tourism Day, the more you can share. The World Tourism Organization is considered the hub for this special occasion, hosting a large event annually. Each year they focus on a new theme that highlights travel in a unique way. This year’s theme is Tourism and the Digital Transformation. They know that digital advancement in the tourism sector can improve entrepreneurship, inclusion, local community empowerment and efficient resource management, amongst other things. This year’s World Tourism Day will help to further explore the opportunities provided to tourism by technological advances including big data, artificial intelligence and digital platforms. Hold or Attend a Local Event The best part of World Tourism Day is that it has no borders or boundaries. It was designed to be embraced by and celebrated throughout the World. Where ever you are, you have the opportunity to hold your own event or find one to attend. Host a Competition In addition to travel photo competitions, many host competitions allowing participants to create art, videos, essays, speeches and more. This is an excellent way to raise awareness, celebrate tourism, engage with creative and like-minded people, and give back to your local community. Travel Using your awareness, knowledge and resources to get out and explore the World is one of the best ways for you to enjoy and promote World Tourism Day. You can choose to travel near or far. The best part about traveling on this special day is that you may be able to enjoy some of the perks and special offerings that tourist attractions all over the world will be offering. Do you usually do anything special on World Tourism Day? What are some ways that you might suggest embracing it and raising awareness about it?