World Tourism Day Celebrations

China Hosts the 30th Anniversary of World Tourism Day
Yesterday marked the 30th anniversary of World Tourism Day, a series of celebratory events to highlight the importance of tourism and protecting the environment. This year’s celebration was held primarily in China however there were other events taking place around the world. Under the name ‘Tourism and Biodiversity’ the proceedings raised awareness of the close relationship between biodiversity, poverty reduction and tourism development. The secretary-general of the World Tourism Organisation, Taleb Rifai, stated that, “The value of biodiversity for tourism is immeasurable. One of tourism’s greatest assets, the diversity of life on Earth causes millions of people to travel the world each year. Yet biodiversity, the intricate web of unique species and ecosystems that make up our planet, is at risk on a global scale. Demographic pressures and unsustainable human activities are causing irreversible biodiversity loss at an alarming rate.”
The events are set to be the start of an ongoing campaign designed to raise the profile of the issue. Many of the world’s most popular tourist destinations are within some of the least developed regions and serve as a vital source of income and employment within the local communities. This year sees the launch of the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity with World Tourism Day acting as one of the forefront events to draw attention to the campaign. Each of the countries that participated in celebrating yesterday are helping bright to light two of the most pressing global challenges, the sustainable use of environmental resourced and the eradication of extreme poverty.

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