The event was established to cultivate and create awareness worldwide around the significance of tourism and the social, cultural, political and economic impact it has on the various destinations. Events hosted to mark the day address common challenges and highlight the commitment of the tourism sector in achieving their objectives, while exploring ways to mold a more sustainable future for the sector.
In 2019 the theme for World Tourism Day is ‘Tourism and Jobs: A better future for all’. Appropriate, as last year saw the global travel and tourism sector grow by 3.9% to contribute a record $8.8 trillion and 319 million jobs to the world economy, above the growth rate of world GDP.
Establishment of World Tourism Day
It was at its third session in Torremolinos in Spain in September 1979 that the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) General Assembly decided to establish a World Tourism Day by the beginning of 1980. This date was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of the adoption of the UNWTO Statutes on 27 September 1970.
The timing of World Tourism Day is particularly appropriate as it comes at the end of the high season in the northern hemisphere and the beginning of the season in the southern hemisphere, when tourism is on the minds of millions of people worldwide. On this day people of all ages and backgrounds are invited to hold and take part in celebrations in their respective country or holiday destination that are matched to the theme selected.
Tourism in Thailand
In 2019, Thailand expects a total of 41.1 million tourists to spend 2.21 trillion baht. South Africa has seen an annual increase in visitors to Thailand, the number one choice of international destination, seeing over 100 000 tourists last year.
The aim of the Tourism Authority of Thailand is to provide tourists with rich local experiences while allowing them to travel sustainably as they focus on their green travel, and Shades of Thailand campaign. Ultimately, visitors have access to Thailand’s major cities as well as smaller, secondary cities that are all connected by the 22 airports and with 10 immigration checkpoints.
“Thailand continues to offer South Africans not only value for money, but an efficient way to get around and explore the different areas, whether it is the bustling capital of Bangkok, laid back Chiang Mai in the north, islands and their beautiful beaches, remote villages or jungles. Thailand simply offers it all,” says Lesley Simpson of TAT South Africa.
Why don’t you mark this World Tourism Day by booking a trip to Thailand?
NOTE: South African passport holders for not require visas to visit Thailand for stays of up to 30 days. Passports need to be valid for at least 6 months after the departure date and you may be asked to present a return ticket.