The aurora borealis illuminates Inuit homes, where tourists stay when they travel to Greenland to enjoy this natural phenomenon. UN Photo/Alejandra Carvajal.
About World Tourism Day
World Tourism Day is commemorated each year on 27 September. Its purpose is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. The event seeks to address global challenges outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to highlight the contribution the tourism industry can make in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism, invites all interested parties to take part on 27 September each year in the special celebrations taking place in their respective country or holiday destination.
World Tourism Day theme and official celebrations
The UNWTO Secretary-General issues a message each year to mark the occasion and chairs the official celebrations.
Establishment of World Tourism Day
It was at its third session (Torremolinos, Spain, September 1979), that the UNWTO General Assembly decided to institute World Tourism Day, commencing in the year 1980. This date was chosen to coincide with an important milestone in world tourism: the anniversary of the adoption of the UNWTO Statutes on 27 September 1970.
The timing of World Tourism Day is particularly appropriate in that it comes at the end of the high season in the northern hemisphere and the beginning of the season in the southern hemisphere.
Declaration of 2017 as International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development
On 22 December 2015, during its 70th session, the United Nations General Assembly designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development through its resolution A/RES/70/193, in which it “encourages all States, the United Nations system and all other actors to take advantage of the International Year to promote actions at all levels, including through international cooperation, and to support sustainable tourism as a means of promoting and accelerating sustainable development, especially poverty eradication.”