September 27 – World Tourism Day

Posted on September 27, 2015

According to the official website for this United Nations holiday, every time we travel, we have an opportunity to make a positive change in the world. 

Certainly travel is enriching to each of us. On an individual level, when we travel, we see and hear things we don't see in our own hometowns. We meet new people. Perhaps we try new foods, discover new ways of doing things or new ideas. We often hear different languages, and we always, always expand our horizons.

Travel means learning. And hopefully it means greater acceptance of “different” – of “other.” Greater understanding. A more global outlook, a greater desire to protect natural spaces and wildlife, a longer view as well as a wider one.

And if enough people are learning to care about other people and other cultures and nature and ecological systems – that's a win for everyone!

Of course, there is another way that travel and tourism can be a positive force – and that is not for the people doing the travel, but for the people living in the places being visited.

Because travel and tourism usually translates to money, and jobs, and opportunities. Hotels and restaurants, airlines and tour boats, shops and museums and attractions – and so much more – all thrive with tourist dollars.

When economical growth from tourism helps endangered species and encourages conservation of wilderness, it's a win-win. When tourist dollars support local craftspeople and encourage preservation of traditions, that's a win-win, as well.

Done right, tourism can have value for human rights, for cultures, for governmental stability – as well as for economies.

This year...

  • Burkina Faso will host the official 2015 World Tourism Day celebration.
  • This year's theme is “1,000,000,000 tourists – 1,000,000,000 opportunities” – or, in words, “One billion tourists – one billion opportunities.” I read that the plan was to call it “Millions of tourists, millions of opportunities.” But -- apparently -- tourism is bigger than "just" millions!

    I am surprised that, in a world of only seven billion people, there are one billion tourists! But I read that there are – not just one billion tourists – but MORE THAN one billion INTERNATIONAL tourists EACH YEAR!

    (Naturally, some of these must be business travelers and frequent travelers. In other words, a person who travels outside of her country six times a year must surely count as six international tourists.)

  • Tourists in India can visit more than 200 ticketed monuments and museums for free today – wonderful places such as the world-famous Taj Mahal! There are similar sorts of tourism-encouraging freebies in some other nations as well.

Also on this date:

Banned Books Week 
(9/27 to 10/3)

Sukkot begins

Plan ahead:

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