27 September is World Tourism Day! And this year theme is ~ Tourism for All!
Accessible Tourism for all is about the creation of environments that can cater for the needs of all of us, whether we are traveling or staying at home. May that be due to a disability, even temporary, families with small children, or the ageing population, at some point in our lives, sooner or later, we all benefit of universal accessibility in tourism.
Taking it to the right for all of the world’s citizens to experience the incredible diversity of our planet and the beauty of the world we live in. On this year’s World Tourism Day help us spread the word of both the importance and immense benefits universal accessibility has and can bring to society at large.
Ever since its inception, World Tourism Day is celebrated to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. As the official day set aside in the United Nations Calendar the celebration seeks to highlight tourism’s potential to contribute to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), addressing some of the most pressing challenges society is faced with today.
The official World Tourism Day 2016 celebrations will be held in
Tourism in Thailand has grown increasing rapidly in recent years. In 2015, the country became the most visited in Southeast Asia, hosting almost 30 million international tourists. This helped Thailand earn US$ 44.6 billion in tourism receipts, showing that tourism is playing an ever greater role in the country’s development and path to further prosperity.
Commenting on it, UNWTO Secretary-General Mr. Taleb Rifai, said, “Tourism has experienced a revolution in the past 50 years. In 1950 there were 25 million international tourists; today there are around 1.2 billion people travelling the world. Travelling has become a huge part of many lives.”
“When travelling, we come across new people, new sights, and new ideas. Often our perception of the world changes as we see more of it. However, we must not forget that for many, travelling can be quite a difficult process” he added.
15% of the world’s population is estimated to live with some form of disability. That is 1 billion people around the world who may be unable to enjoy the privilege of knowing other cultures, experience nature at its fullest and experience the thrill of embarking on a journey to explore new sights.
“We thus urge all countries and destinations, as well as the industry, to promote accessibility for all in the physical environment, in transport systems, in public facilities and services and in information and communications channels” he concluded.
Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports of Thailand said, “For this year's World Tourism Day theme “Tourism for All – Promoting Universal Accessibility”, it is a conscious reminder to us all around the world to push for integration in order to improve each other’s potential in tourism and to promote a mutual understanding of different cultures and traditions. This is where tourism extends beyond numbers and figures, as tourism has the magic to bring people from all over the globe, from all walks of life to be together peacefully without discrimination and to be in a world where we respect each other and work towards a common goal of sustainable tourism and human capital development. There is not a greater time than now for us to integrate and work together for us to reach our optimum in the internationally recognized universal design and for us to work hand in hand towards the development of our beloved tourism industry. On the occasion of World Tourism Day on behalf of the Royal Government of the Kingdom of Thailand and the Thai people, I would like to express my sincerest thanks to the UNWTO for honouring Thailand by giving us, “Amazing Thailand”, the opportunity to be the host of the official celebration for World Tourism Day 2016. My gratitude also goes out to every single one of you involved in the process and for making this year's celebration a grand success, and finally, I invite everyone around the world to celebrate this glorious day with us in the Land of Smiles and to be a part of the promotion of tourism for all and the development of universal accessibility.”