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World Tourism Day 2021: Tourism for Inclusive Growth

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World Tourism Day is celebrated each year on September 27 to spread awareness about the importance of tourism and its impact on our society. The day is also celebrated to spread awareness about global challenges outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to underline the efforts the tourism industry can make achieving the sustainable development goals.

United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the global body responsible for the promotion of tourism, has been celebrating World Tourism Day on September 27 since 1980.

However, this specific date was chosen,sinceback on this day the UNWTO adopted its Statutes. The Statutes are considered milestones in the global tourism space.

The UNWTO General Assembly however, in October 1997 in Turkey, decided to designate a host country each year to act as the Organization’s partner in the celebration of World Tourism Day.

Last year in 2020 the theme was, “Tourism and Rural Development” and the event was celebrated in Argentina, however ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth’ is the theme for World Tourism Day 2021. This year’s official celebration will be hosted by Cote d’Ivoire, celebrating tourism’s ability to drive inclusive development and the role it plays in promoting respect while generating opportunities for many millions across the globe.

The message along is to fully showcase the potential of tourism to create jobs for all and bring communities together.

Talking about the Global tourism industry, the tourism industry has become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world today. Over the last few years, the tourism industry has seen a tremendous expansion and growth. International tourist arrivals have grown significantly in the past few decades. However, now it has grown from 25 million in 1950 to 1.3 billion in 2019. The revenues earned have also increased from $2 billion in 1950 to $1,260 trillion in 2015. Tourism industry is estimated to be worth 10% of the global GDP and provides one in ten jobs globally. The UNWTO expects an annual growth of 3% in the tourism industry until 2030.

In Pakistan, the collective hospitality and tourism industry is estimated to be worth $20 billion and contributing3% to the GDP in year 2021. Moreover, the industry provides employment to an estimated 3 million people directly and indirectly.

Pakistan tourism industry was in heydays in 70’s when Karachi was supposed as Mini Dubai, however after decades Pakistan came once again into the highlights, a personal thanks to the efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Pakistan’s tourism industry is an emergent market; at least from the international perspective, its wealth of scenic landscapes, particularly its stunning mountain vistas in the north, has increasingly been getting noticed. The British Backpacker Society ranked Pakistan as its top travel destination for 2018, and last year Forbes termed it “one of the coolest countries to visit”. Unfortunately, the authorities failed to build on that momentum and goodwill, even though the prime minister has often correctly cited the potential for tourism to become a major source of foreign exchange. Even as recently as December 2019, Wanderlust, the UK travel magazine, singled out Pakistan as its “hot list destination” for 2020 along US life and luxury magazine Conde Nast traveler highlighted Pakistan as “The best holiday destination 2020”.

However, the pandemic, of course, has derailed tourism everywhere.

More to say, the contemporary government has redesigned the tourism policy, but its affects have not seen so far, one example is there are dozens of PTDC motels in top tourism destination even in “Sust”that is the home to the world recognized mountains and gateway to Khunjrabhowever barren. I believe Pakistan have the destinations, the policies, along the infrastructure but no one to manageand implement.

Let me tell you one morething, in the year 2006 a heavy earthquake was reported in the Northern region and then the policy was made to involve no concrete in the construction of buildings because that area was spotted for regular catastrophes, however negligence can be seen. Moreover, there’s no idea of Eco-tourism, in the clear waters you would find garbage and plastic: ignorant society.

Recently I came back from Gwadar as I heard of its exotic beaches, however I found plastic more or less, I question the society,doyou not belong this planet and have heads and heels in polluting what you can.

I don’t know how many people would understand the grave importance of Sustainable-tourism, but I believe there would be some at least.However, those are enough to make Pakistan’s tourism sustainable and inclusive for growth. Moreover, with our combine efforts next year Pakistan can be seen as hosting the World Tourism Day with theme of Eco-tourism.

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