World Tourism Day celebrated around the globe

by Alyssa Daniells

World Tourism Day was celebrated across the world over the weekend.

Designated by the United Nations, World Tourism Day, Saturday September 27th, promotes tourism worldwide. Piloted by United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) this year’s theme was Community Development, promoting sustainable tourism at the grassroots level, with a special focus on developing countries.

Special events included photo competitions, special presentations and promotions to destinations, with a large focus on ecotourism. In Toronto, Ryerson University’s Hospitality and Tourism Management Student Association’s festivities included Kaitlyn Duggan from Intrepid Travel, Tanya Smither from 2015 Toronto Pan Am and Parapan Games, and Ryan Snider, founder of Socially Sustainable Safaris as guest speakers.

The tourism industry represents nine per cent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product and continues to diversify and expand, making it one of the fastest growing sectors. It impacts economies at all levels, making it a huge driving force in international commerce. It has a profound effect on developing nations, often the main source of income for these nations.

The UNWTO introduced the first World Tourism Day in 1980, making this its 34th year. Starting in 2015, the UN is mandating Sustainable Development Goals, which will be pivotal factors in social, ethical and ecological responsibility and socio-economic progress in the developing world.