Over the past six decades, tourism has experienced continued expansion and diversification, and it has become one of the fastest growing and most important economic sectors in the world, benefiting destinations and communities worldwide.
International tourist arrivals worldwide have grown from 25 million in 1950 to nearly 1.2 billion in 2015!
Similarly, international tourism revenues earned by destinations around the world have grown from 2 billion US dollars in 1950 to 1260 trillion in 2015. The sector represents an estimated 10% of the world’s GDP and 1 in 10 jobs globally.
This growth over the second half of the 20th century and the 21st is due to the fact that access to tourism has progressively expanded thanks to the recognition of the right to holidays in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the improved adoption of labour rights in many countries and the growing middle class worldwide.
As the United Nations General Assembly affirmed when announcing the adoption of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, tourism can contribute to all the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental – and each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Not only does the sector spearhead growth, it also improves the quality of people’s lives. It can bolster environmental protection, champion diverse cultural heritage, and strengthen peace in the world.
In this spirit, World Tourism Day 2017 presents a unique opportunity to raise awareness on the contribution of sustainable tourism to development among public and private sector decision-makers and the international community, while mobilizing all stakeholders to work together in making tourism a catalyst for positive change.
Join us in celebrating this special day! #WTD2017 #IY2017 #TravelEnjoyRespect #SDGs
Celebrate World Tourism Day by taking the pledge to #TravelEnjoyRespect