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World Tourism Day 2011

In 2011, World Tourism Day is being celebrated around the theme, Tourism – Linking Cultures

World Tourism Day (27 September) is the most widely celebrated global day for tourism. World Tourism Day has been held since 1980 and has been a United Nations “official day” since UNWTO became a UN specialized agency in 2003. In 2011, World Tourism Day is being celebrated around the theme, Tourism – Linking Cultures,…

Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General United Nations


World Tourism Day
(27 September) is the most widely celebrated global day for tourism. World Tourism Day has been held since 1980 and has been a United Nations “official day” since UNWTO became a UN specialized agency in 2003.

In 2011, World Tourism Day is being celebrated around the theme, Tourism – Linking Cultures, and will highlight tourism’s role in bringing the cultures of the world together and promoting global understanding through travel.

The official World Tourism Day celebrations will take place in Aswan, Egypt, and will include a High Level Think Tank on the 2011 theme.

Speakers include the Minister of Tourism of Egypt, Mounir Fakhi Abdel-Nour, UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, the Minister for Culture and Tourism of Greece, Pavlos Yeroulanos, and the Chief Executive of TUI, Michael Frenzel.

Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General United Nations stated:

"The theme of this year’s World Tourism Day, “Tourism – linking cultures”, highlights the powerful role of tourism in building international understanding and mutual respect.



There is no better way to learn about a new culture than to experience it first-hand. Tourism offers a wonderful connecting thread between visitor and host community. It promotes dialogue and interaction.  Such contact between people of different backgrounds is the very foundation for tolerance.   In a world struggling for peaceful coexistence, tourism can build bridges and contribute to peace.



Tourism’s contributions to development also advance the cause of global solidarity.  At a time of profound global economic uncertainty, tourism’s ability to generate socio-economic opportunities and help reduce the gap between rich and poor, is more important than ever.



I encourage all involved in tourism to embrace the ten principles of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. These guidelines for sustainable and responsible tourism development, approved by the UN General Assembly in 2001, are based on the proven interaction between tourism and peace, human rights and understanding.



World Tourism Day is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of tourism to global well-being. As we travel, let us engage with other cultures and celebrate human diversity. On this observance, let us recognize tourism as a force for a more tolerant, open and united world".

Celebrations around the world can be found here.

Tourism – Linking Cultures: Winning Photos

First Prize: ‘Give me Red’, by Sourav Karmakar
‘East West Jubilation’ by Rabin Chakrabarti
‘The Baobab Huggers’ by Jose Rosado 
‘East meets West’ by Chi Keung Wong
‘OMG!!’ by Birkley Wildgoose
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