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World Tourism Day 2013 - promoting tourism’s role in water preservation

Tatiana Rokou - 04 June 2013, 12:20

This year’s World Tourism Day theme focuses on tourism’s significant role and contribution to worldwide water conservation efforts. The theme is in line with the UN General Assembly’s declaration of 2013 as the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation, providing the opportunity to further highlight the shared responsibility of the tourism sector to the wider sustainability objectives.

Centered on the theme ‘Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future’, World Tourism Day 2013 will underline tourism/s responsibility and needed commitment to preserving the world/s vital water resources. The Maldives will host the official celebrations on 27 September 2013.

This year’s World Tourism Day (WTD) theme focuses on tourism’s significant role and contribution to worldwide water conservation efforts. The theme is in line with the UN General Assembly’s declaration of 2013 as the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation, providing the opportunity to further highlight the shared responsibility of the tourism sector to the wider sustainability objectives.

As a trillion dollar economic sector, tourism is a powerful force capable of tackling this challenge by offering effective solutions geared towards a more sustainable water future. With over one billion people traveling internationally each year, tourism can also be an important vehicle of raising awareness and changing behaviors.

“As one of the largest economic sectors in the world, it is the responsibility of the tourism sector to take a leadership role and ensure companies and destinations invest in adequate water management throughout the value chain. If managed sustainably, tourism can bring benefits to the national and local communities and support water preservation,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai in his official WTD 2013 message. “I urge all those involved in the tourism sector to join our global World Tourism Day campaign and continue to devise innovate solutions to ensuring sustainable access to water resources worldwide.”

Clean, accessible water is vital to tourism, running most of the sector/s businesses, from hotels and restaurants to leisure facilities and transportation. More importantly, wetland tourism is growing, with many of the world’s coastlines, lakes and other wetlands among the most popular tourism destinations.

World Tourism Day will be a unique opportunity to examine the challenges facing water management in tourism and the measures being undertaken by the sector to protect and promote water resources while creating benefits for local populations around water tourism destinations.

Official WTD celebrations in the Maldives will include a High-Level Think Tank bringing together public and private tourism stakeholders and water experts to devise policies and strategies aimed at ensuring the tourism sector contributes to protecting water resources.

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1 Comments
Comments

Company: World Rivers Day Profession: retired Chair Emeritus, Rivers Institute at BCIT
"Mark Angelo" commented on 08 June 2013, 07:50:

Promoting tourism's role in water preservation is a great theme for World Tourism day - Your event is also close to World Rivers Day, set for Septembner 29 (it's always the last Sunday in September) - and this year, it will involve well over 60 countries and millions pf people. It would be nice to make a tie-in (our website link is worldriversday.com). Good luck with your event. Cheers, Mark Angelo, WRD founder and chair
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