World Tourism Day: Sustainable Tourism, a Tool for Development
Every year, 27 September marks World Tourism Day. The theme of this year’s celebrations is “Sustainable Development, a Tool for Development” in keeping with the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
On the website of the UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organisation) there is a host of useful information on this subject, as well as a message from Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the UNWTO: “Tourism growth can and should lead to economic prosperity, jobs and resources to fund environmental protection and cultural preservation, as well as community development and progress needs... It also means that through meeting others we can broaden our horizons, open our minds and our hearts, improve our well-being and be better people…”
Rifai has no doubt that tourism can help solve many challenges, but he stresses that all growth also brings with it responsibility. Rifai points out that sustainable tourism promotes environmental protection, the protection of tangible and intangible heritage and the engagement, commitment and respect of the local community. Sustainable tourism growth equally seeks a strong, sustainable tourism policy and the engagement of national and local government, corporate boards in the private sector, local communities, the population and tourists themselves, says Rifai, as well as saying that it is exceptionally important to consult local communities and take their opinions into account as well as tourism entities.
“Together we can continue building a sustainable, equitable and well-managed tourism sector that supports many livelihoods around the world and can enrich us every time we cross borders and exchange cultural experiences. Let us remember the motto of the campaign of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development: to Travel, Enjoy and Respect,” says Rifai.
Marking the International Year of Sustainable Tourism, Zagreb Tourist Board is organizing free guided tours of the city for the citizens of Zagreb, of which recommend the Green Zagreb tour - this tour enables everyone to discover and enjoy the beautiful oases of the Green Horseshoe of the City