World Tourism Day 2013 – promoting tourism's role in water preservationListen /
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.
UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai in his official WTD 2013 message said that "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. He said if managed sustainably, tourism can bring benefits to the national and local communities and support water preservation," said he urged "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."
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.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.