This year’s World Tourism Day (WTD) 2011 is being celebrated under the theme "Tourism – Linking Cultures". The day is a celebration of tourism’s role in linking together the cultures of the world through travel.
“In a global environment marked by rising intolerance and crosscultural tensions, often exacerbated by the economic divide between nations, tourism can foster spiritual and cultural respect among and between peoples, while creating economic opportunities to benefit disadvantaged populations.” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Tourism is not merely an economic and commercial activity, but one of the world’s principal instruments for human interaction. With a record 940 million international tourist arrivals in 2010, never before have so many people travelled so widely, nor come into contact with such a diverse range of cultures. This interaction between individuals and communities, and their diverse cultures, leads to tolerance, respect and mutual understanding - the building blocks for a more peaceful world.
Egypt, who is hosting this year's WTD, is the cradle of one of the world’s earliest civilizations, providing the ideal setting to discuss the 2011 theme. For thousands of years, successive cultures have travelled across Egypt, resulting in a vibrant and rich heritage that attracts millions of tourists. It is this process of coming together through travel that is at the very heart of the 2011 World Tourism Day celebrations.
World Tourism Day is celebrated annually on 27 September since 1980. The timing of the 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, when tourism is of topical interest to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.
Edited: G. Cornwell
The Brussels based United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe - UNRIC provides information on UN activities to the countries of the region. It also provides liaison with institutions of the European Union in the field of information. Its outreach activities extend to all segments of society and joint campaigns, projects and events are organized with partners including the EU, governments, the media, NGOs, schools and local authorities.
United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC Brussels)
Residence Palace, Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 155, Block C2,7th and 8th floor, Brussels 1040, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 788 8484 / Fax: 32 2 788 8485