Every September 27th, World Tourism Day is celebrated worldwide with the aim of raising awareness in the international community of the importance of tourism for countries due to its cultural, economic, political, and social implications.
This year 2020 the motto is “Tourism and rural development”, to celebrate the exceptional capacity of the sector in creating opportunities outside the big cities and to preserve the cultural and natural heritage around the world.
The World Tourism Organization, has become one of the main actors in international trade and for many countries represents an important source of income, in addition to generating employment and allowing recreation and relaxation for people.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has drastically affected tourism worldwide
It is no secret to anyone that the COVID-19 Pandemic has affected all aspects of the economy to the social. And the tourism sector has been one of the most impacted during this health crisis period. In addition, with the air travel restrictions still in force in most countries, it has been difficult for this sector to recover. Workers in the informal economy have been the most affected during this Pandemic and entire families that depended on tourism for their daily livelihood have suffered the consequences.
An important fact to know is that the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates that between 100 and 120 million direct tourism jobs are currently at risk. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) predicts a loss of 1.5% to 2.8% of world GDP.
Wildlife in danger
Another consequence of this Pandemic has been the conservation of wildlife and the protection of cultural heritage. As falling tourism revenue has cut funding for biodiversity conservation and as livelihoods are at risk in and around protected areas, poaching and looting are feared to increase. Furthermore, with the closure of 90% of world heritage sites as a result of the Pandemic, both tangible and intangible heritage sites are in danger in all parts of the world.
Why is World Tourism Day celebrated?
World Tourism Day was created on September 27th, 1970, the date on which the first General Assembly of the International Union of Official Tourism Organizations was held. But it was in 1980 that this day was officially celebrated for the first time.
Its objective is to raise awareness in the general population of this essential sector for the world economy. This date it used for cleaning beaches and parks, in addition, awareness messages are transmitted about the importance of keeping these spaces free of contamination. But due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, several of these activities will be postponed.
We hope that once the COVID-19 Pandemic soon passes, and tourism normalizes, so all people can embark once again on their adventure trips, specially here in Costa Rica, where we will receive all tourists with open arms.