General Assembly: Strong Support for World Tourism Day Themes for 2008 & 2009.

Monday, 21 January 2008 10:21

Following the successful World Tourism Day 2007 theme ‘Tourism opens doors for women’, the General Assembly underscored the importance of World Tourism Day (WTD) to be conceived as a yearly campaign to raise awareness on the constructive social role of tourism. WTD 2008 will be hosted in Peru and carry a theme around the tourism sector’s response to the challenges of climate change. WTD 2009 will be hosted in Ghana and underscore the value of diversity and authenticity of tourism in a globalizing world. These are among the outcomes of the 17th Session of the UNWTO General Assembly, 22-29 November, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.

The focus on climate change and the broader development agenda coincides with UNWTO’s active support of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The 2008 theme ranks high on the UN System Agenda and coincides with the 7th MDG: Ensure environmental sustainability and the proclamation of 2008 as the International Year of Planet Earth which will extend to 2009.

The theme will contribute in putting forward the global campaign to implement the Davos Declaration (Climate Change and Tourism – Responding top Global Challenges). The Declaration builds on the tourism sector’s strong relationship with climate and its global social and economic value as well as its role in sustainable development.
The 2009 theme will celebrate tourism diversity and implement a campaign to highlight the importance of tourism and globalization. This will mark the 30th celebration of World Tourism Day, which will be hosted in Ghana.
This campaign will highlight tourism’s role dual as a catalyst for globalization on the one hand, and as an opportunity to reaffirm and preserve the identity at the destination level, on the other.

World Tourism Day & MDGs

The General Assembly also endorsed UNWTO’s appointment of its first Special Advisor on Women and Tourism. This year’s theme coincided with UN’s 3rd MDG: Promote gender equality and empower women. Following the WTD 2007 celebrations of women’s achievements in the tourism sector, Pakistani senator Mrs. Nilofar Bakhatiar will lead the evolution of activities outlined in the 2008-09 General Programme of work.

These range from a UNWTO – UNIFEM (UN Development Fund for Women) annual report on the state of Women in Tourism to fostering a network of activists, ambassadors and advocates to support the work of the UNWTO Special Advisor on Women in Tourism.

World Tourism Day is commemorated on 27 September each year and coincides with the anniversary of the adoption of the UNWTO Statutes on 27 September 1970 and was designated as World Tourism Day by the UNWTO General Assembly. For more on WTD go to World Tourism Day.

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