World Tourism Day is an event that takes place on 27 September each year since 1980. It was established at the Third Session of the UNWTO General Assembly in Torremolinos, Spain, in September of 1979.
The event shows what impact the tourism industry has on the social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide. The date was chosen on purpose. The 27 September is at the end of the high season in the northern hemisphere and the beginning of the season in the southern hemisphere. Last year (2007) the theme of the World Tourism Day was ‘Tourism opens doors for women". It took place in Sri Lanka. In 2008 the participants will address the problems connected above all with climate change.
The 2008 World Tourism Day will be hosted in Peru. According to Mercedes Araoz, Minister of Tourism, the World Tourism Day will once again bring the attention of the world to Peru and its several tourist destinations. This year’s theme should help to implement Davos Declaration, which deals with relations between climate change and tourism.
The themes of World Tourism Day do time to time coincide with other UN policies. For example this year’s theme is ‘climate change’ and UN Millennium Development Goal number 7 is to ensure environmental sustainability. Similarly in 2007 the theme of the Day was ‘Tourism opens doors for women" and also the third UN Millennium Development Goal was to promote gender equality and empower women. The UNWTO has also created a position of Special Advisor on Women and Tourism. In 2009 World Tourism Day will take place in Ghana. The theme should highlight the value of diversity. It should show the importance of tourism as an accelerator of globalization but as well as its role in reaffirming and preserving the identity at the destination level.