With WHO Director-General Adhanom Ghebreyesus announcing the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is time to look ahead and map out the future. In other words, it is time that you, future tourism professionals, start ‘Rethinking Tourism’. This is the theme of World Tourism Day 2022. Join in on September 27!
Every year since 1980, the UN World Tourism Organization hosts World Tourism Day. This is in order to raise awareness of the role of tourism within the international community and how it affects social, cultural, political, and economic values worldwide. This year, UNWTO calls on stakeholders from all over the globe, from tourism professionals to tourists themselves, to reflect on the past downfall and reflect on how to shape the future of tourism.
Get to know the six pillars of development around which World Tourism Day 2022 is shaped!
In November 2021, The Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism was signed by over 450 tourism operators, in which the signatories declared their commitment to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and reach net zero emissions before 2050. The signatories have the obligation to deliver climate action plans within 12 months after the signing of the agreement.
Rural areas often play an important role in tourism but have a specific value because of their biological and cultural vulnerability. Through the ‘Best Tourism Villages’ initiative presented by UNWTO, the organization aims to preserve and promote community-based values, products, and lifestyles and has a clear commitment to economic, social, and environmental sustainability. This is done through funding, physical and mental redevelopment, and moreover; education.
Tourism is growing. By 2030, it is expected that total tourism arrivals will reach 1,8 billion (!). This presents both an opportunity and a threat. Therefore, UN member states require tourism human capital that meets current and future market demands, and is able to foresee challenges such as sustainability. With Partnerships in Education, UNWTO aims to help develop educational institutions offering tourism curricula. By doing so, the organization ensures future human capital.
By technologically accelerating the economic recovery of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), UNWTO paves the way for the modern age of tourism. Through ‘UNWTO Digital Futures’, SMEs can access tools provided by top tech companies. Among what is offered are Digital Readiness Tools – which is measured how ‘ready’ a company is for the digital age – and digital upskill training. Are you ready for the future?
The unequal gap between various genders remains a daily issue in many tourism destinations. UNWTO aims to tackle these problems through the ‘Centre Stage’, in which it supports 4 NTOs from Jordan, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico, which implement a one-year action plan for women’s empowerment. This will be done through targeted training, boosting female career development, and improvements to the legal framework.
As future tourism professionals, all eyes are on you for shaping the path to the future of tourism. The UNWTO-initiated Global Youth Tourism Summit (GYTS) allows students to reach and unleash their full potential. It is a series of international events, and workshops that give you a unique platform to share and discuss innovation, vision, and proposals for the tourism sector. Take the lead!
And now it is up to you!
We stand at the dawn of a new tourism era, as the industry recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. By focusing on the above-mentioned pillars, sustainable modern tourism is no longer a goal; it can become a fact. This World Tourism Day, you are challenged to rethink tourism. Join in on September 27 and spread the word!
Find here everything you need to celebrate World Tourism Day 2022!