World Tourism Day

Oscar-winning Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o who is also Wild Aid’s Global Elephant Ambassador. The country’s tourism, recently hit by terrorism, has seen a healthy growth in local visitors. (Photo/MagicalKenya).

Tourism for inclusive growth

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive social and economic impact. Both developed and developing economies have been hit. And marginalized groups and the most vulnerable have been hit hardest of all. The restart of tourism will help kickstart recovery and growth. It is essential that the benefits this will bring are enjoyed widely and fairly.

World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has therefore designated World Tourism Day 2021 as a day to focus on “Tourism for Inclusive Growth.”

UNWTO as the United Nations specialized agency for responsible and sustainable tourism is guiding the global sector towards inclusive recovery and growth. UNWTO ensures every part of the sector has a say in its future – including communities, minorities, youth and those who would otherwise be at risk of being left behind.

Tourism is a recognized pillar of most – if not all – the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs), particularly Goals 1 (no poverty), 5 (gender equality), 8 (decent work and economic growth) and 10 (reduce inequalities).

Help us to promote this International Day and the value of tourism through our promotional material (images, graphics and social media logos), participate in our photographic initiative or publish your event through the website of the UNWTO.

Photo camera, notebook and a face mask over a suitcase

The impact of COVID-19 on tourism

The impact of COVID-19 on tourism will cost the world economy 4 trillion dollars. Developing countries will be among the most affected ones. Check the report or the latest information from the World Tourism Organization.

Global vaccination plan crucial for a recovery

The biggest crisis in the history of tourism continues into a second year. Between January and May, international tourist arrivals were 85% below 2019 levels (or a 65% drop on 2020). Despite a small uptick in May, the emergence of COVID-19 variants and the continued imposition of restrictions are weighing on the recovery of international travel. Meanwhile, domestic tourism continues to rebound in many parts of the world.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism could result in a more than $4 trillion loss to the global economy and tourism experts do not expect a return to pre-COVID arrival levels until 2023 or later.

Developing countries have borne the biggest brunt of the pandemic’s impact on tourism due to the absence of widespread COVID-19 vaccinations. They suffered the largest reductions in tourist arrivals in 2020, estimated at between 60% and 80%.

On this World Tourism Day, the COVID-19 pandemic represents an opportunity to rethink the future of the tourism sector. Tourism has a unique ability to make sure nobody is left behind, as recognized by the Second Principle of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs.


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