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World Tourism Day 2023: Impact & importance of Ecotourism, why it matters

The international community celebrates World Tourism Day (WTD) each year on 27 September to foster awareness of the importance of tourism

By Ground report
New Update
World Tourism Day 2023: Impact & importance of Ecotourism, why it matters

The international community celebrates World Tourism Day (WTD) each year on 27 September to foster awareness of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political, and economic value.

The United Nations states that tourism is one of the world's most important economic sectors. It employs one in every ten people on Earth and provides livelihoods to hundreds of millions more. Some countries can represent over 20% of their GDP.

A 2022 study discovered that tourism produces nearly 8% of the world's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, with most of them originating from food and waste management.

The pandemic made a big problem for the travel industry. Many people couldn't go to other countries because of lockdowns to stop the virus. This was good for the environment because it made less pollution. But, places that need tourists lost a lot of money.

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Photo Credit: Dennis Peterson/unsplash

Now, after three years, the pandemic is getting better, and people can travel again. More and more people are flying on planes like in 2019. In 2022, more people flew than in 2021, and it was almost as much as before the pandemic. In 2023, even more people will travel because countries are letting them.

But, when more people travel, it makes more pollution. In 2022, pollution went up by 7% in the first part of the year compared to 2020.

What is Ecotourism?

Eco-tourism is a form of tourism that focuses on responsible travel to natural areas, with the aim of conserving the environment and improving the well-being of local people. Ecotourists are typically interested in learning about the natural and cultural heritage of the places they visit, and they are committed to minimizing their impact on the environment.

Ecotourism can take many forms, from camping and hiking in national parks to wildlife watching and cultural immersion tours. It can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels, and it can be found in all corners of the world.

World Tourism Day 2023 theme

World Tourism Day is celebrated annually on September 27th. It is a day to raise awareness of the importance of tourism and its social, economic, cultural, and environmental impact. The theme for World Tourism Day 2023 is Tourism and Green Investments.

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) highlights the need for more and better-targeted investments for people, for the planet, and for prosperity in celebration of World Tourism Day 2023, with the theme "Tourism and Green Investments."

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Photo Credit: unsplash/CE LOSEY

UNWTO says, "Now is the time for new and innovative solutions, not just traditional investments that promote and underpin economic growth and productivity." The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable, and universally accessible tourism, states this.

History of World Tourism Day

World Tourism Day was first celebrated in 1980, on the anniversary of the adoption of the Statutes of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in 1970. The UNWTO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is responsible for promoting sustainable and responsible tourism around the world.

The UNWTO General Assembly decided to institute World Tourism Day, commencing in the year 1980, at its third session (Torremolinos, Spain, September 1979).

The organizers chose this date to coincide with an important milestone in world tourism: they celebrated the anniversary of the adoption of the UNWTO Statutes on 27 September 1970.

Significance of World Tourism Day

World Tourism Day is an important day to celebrate the many benefits of tourism. Tourism is a vital economic sector that supports millions of jobs and generates billions of dollars in revenue each year. It also plays an important role in promoting cultural understanding and peace.

World Tourism Day is also an opportunity to raise awareness of the challenges facing the tourism industry, such as climate change, overtourism, and the need for more sustainable tourism practices.

How to Celebrate World Tourism Day

There are many ways to celebrate World Tourism Day. Here are a few ideas:

  • Travel to a new place and learn about its natural and cultural heritage.
  • Support local businesses when you travel, and choose sustainable tourism experiences.
  • Volunteer your time to a tourism-related cause, such as cleaning up a beach or helping to restore a historic building.
  • Educate others about the importance of sustainable tourism.

Why Ecotourism Matters in 2023

Ecotourism is more important than ever in 2023. Our planet is facing a number of serious challenges, including climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. Ecotourism can help to address these challenges by promoting sustainable travel practices and supporting the conservation of natural areas.

Ecotourism can also help to create jobs and improve the lives of local people. When ecotourists visit a destination, they often spend money on local goods and services, such as accommodation, food, and transportation. This can help to boost the local economy and create jobs for local people.

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Photo credit: freestocks/Unsplash

In addition, ecotourism can help to educate people about the importance of protecting the environment. When ecotourists visit natural areas, they learn about the plants, animals, and ecosystems that live there. This can help to raise awareness of the need to conserve these areas and protect their biodiversity.

According to the UNWTO's website, this year's celebration is going to be the biggest one ever. The official celebrations will happen on September 27 in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. UNWTO's Member States will celebrate in different regions with special events and programs.

They say, "Tourism is very important for our economies and societies right now. It can help us grow a lot. On this World Tourism Day, we celebrate how tourism can create growth. But we also remember that we need to invest in it to make sure that this growth helps everyone and doesn't harm the environment," said UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres added, "Tourism helps us progress and understand each other better. But we have to protect and support it for it to be the most helpful."

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