World Tourism Day is celebrated on the 27th of September annually. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness on the role of tourism within the international community and to demonstrate how it affects social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide.
Let’s learn some eye-opening facts about this day!
1. Since 1980, the United Nations World Tourism Organization has celebrated World Tourism Day on September 27.
2. This date was chosen as on that day in 1970, the Statutes of the UNWTO were adopted.
3. At its Twelfth Session in Istanbul, Turkey, in October 1997, the UNWTO General Assembly decided to designate a host country each year to act as the Organization’s partner in the celebration of World Tourism Day.
4. At its Fifteenth Session in Beijing, China, in October 2003, the Assembly decided the following geographic order to be followed for World Tourism Day celebrations: 2006 in Europe; 2007 in South Asia; 2008 in the Americas; 2009 in Africa and 2011 in the Middle East.
5. The late Ignatius Amaduwa Atigbi, a Nigerian national, was the one who proposed the idea of marking September 27 of every year as World Tourism Day. He was finally recognized for his contribution in 2009.
6.International tourist arrivals grew by 5% between January and April 2016 according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer.
7.This follows an increase of 4.6% in 2015, and could make 2016 the seventh consecutive year of above-average growth, with international arrivals increasing by 4% or more every year following the crisis in 2009.
8.By region, Asia and the Pacific (+9%) recorded the highest increase in international arrivals, with all Asian subregions enjoying growth of 7% or above.
9.By subregion, Subsaharan Africa (+13%) led growth, strongly rebounding from previous years’ modest results.
10.South-East Asia and Oceania both achieved 10% growth, while arrivals in North-East Asia increased by 8% and in South Asia by 7%.
11.In Africa (+7%), international tourist arrivals experienced a clear rebound in Subsaharan Africa (+13%), while in North Africa results were down by 8%.
12.In the Americas (+6%), all four subregions continued to enjoy significant growth in the first four months of 2016, led by Central America and South America (both at +7%).
13.Arrivals in the Caribbean (+6%) and North America (+5%) were fuelled by continued strong outbound demand from the United States, where tourism expenditure increased by 9% through May.
14.Europe (+4%), the world’s most visited region, consolidated its healthy growth of recent years with Northern Europe and Central and Eastern Europe (both at +6%) in the lead, followed by Southern and Mediterranean Europe (+4%) and Western Europe (+3%).
15.France is the most visited country in the world.
16.It’s illegal to feed the pigeons in streets of San Francisco, California.
17.All the money that is tossed into the Trevi Fountain in Rome (approximately 3.000 euros) are collected and donated to charitable organizations.
18.Indonesia has the most volcanos than any other country in the world.
19.Las Vegas, Nevada, has the most hotel rooms of any city of any country in the world.
20.One third of all the airports in the world are located in the United States.
21.The most expensive hotel room in the world is The Royal Penthouse Suite at President Wilson Hotel in Geneva, Switzerland. Its price? 65.000 dollars per night.
22.Due to strict Muslim laws, Bibles are not allows in Maldives. Not even for tourists.
23.Adding salt and pepper to your food is considered extremely offensive by the chefs in Switzerland.
24.In 1930, flight attendants had to weight less than 115 pounds.
25.There are at least 61.000 people in the air over the United States at any time on any day.
26.Tourism began on July 5, 1841, when Thomas Cook organised a trip from Market Harborough to Loughborough for a temperance meeting.
27.By 1845, Cook’s tourist industry had grown to offering trips to Glasgow for a guinea.
28.The word “tourist” had been in use since 1760, for individuals travelling for recreation.
29.Tourism is worth more than £120billion a year to the UK.
30.Some countries that attract more tourists than the UK are France, USA, Spain, China, Italy, Turkey and Germany.
32.The first space tourist was US businessman Dennis Tito who was reported to have paid $20m for a trip to the International Space Station in 2001.
33.Some of the most popular destinations in 2016 are: Bangkok, Thailand; London, UK; Paris, France; Dubai, United Arab Emirates and New York, USA.