Celebrate World Tourism Day on September 27th
If you’ve ever been a visitor in another country, or worked to help people see the world, take a moment to think about World Tourism Day. September 27th, is World Tourism Day, a holiday organized by the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The day is organized to highlight the role that tourism plays in creating opportunities for communities worldwide and fostering understanding between people internationally. On a day celebrating international travel, it’s worth taking a look at the benefits of people who go see the world.
The Deeper Benefits of Travel
International tourism has the obvious appeal of showing people something they couldn’t see anywhere else. Even though millions of houses in the American southwest have Spanish-style tiles on their roofs, there’s no substitute for the genuine article, in places like Granada, Seville, and Toledo, Spain. Despite the fact that Spanish influence is seen all over the USA, Spain is the second most-visited country in the world, and millions of those tourists are American.
However, tourism has deeper benefits than just the joys of seeing beautiful new sights and interacting with different cultures. International travel creates the sort of understanding and connections that make the world a more peaceful place.
There’s no substitute for visiting a country and forming bonds with the people there. The US Peace Corps, a program that employs thousands worldwide, exists to “promote peace and world friendship” by sending volunteers to help in some of the world’s most underprivileged places. The BBC, one of the oldest and most respected news organizations in the world, is built on this understanding. Its motto is “Nation shall speak peace unto nation,” attesting to the fact that peace can’t exist without interaction.
This idea exists because it’s backed up by hard data. In surveys, people routinely have more positive attitudes towards the populations of countries they have visited before. As travel guru Rick Steves says, “As we learn more about the problems that confront the earth and humankind, more and more people are recognizing the need for the world’s industries, such as tourism, to function as tools for peace.”
Creating a World of Plenty
Tourism doesn’t just function as a tool for peace by creating connections, it also provides unique economic benefits. Steves continues, saying that “Tourism is a $2 trillion industry that employs more than 60 million people.” It’s the economic benefits of tourism that the UN seeks to highlight with World Tourism Day.
Each year, World Tourism Day revolves around a different theme, highlighting material benefits that come from global travelers. This year, the theme is “millions of tourists, millions of opportunities.” The money that tourists spend in new places is money that the local community wouldn’t have otherwise. According to the Secretary-General of the UN’s World Tourism Organization, this money “creates jobs, empowers local communities, and builds new opportunities for a better future.”
Travel Agents at the Core of Tourism
The UNWTO calls the network of people spending money on and benefiting from travel the “value chain” of tourism. One of the first links in tourism’s “value chain” are travel agencies and individual travel agents. Even though the internet makes it easier than ever to plan an international trip, there’s still a lot that travel agents can do easier and better. Particularly in countries with a less developed tourism infrastructure, travel agencies can do a lot of on-the-ground planning and purchasing that would-be visitors can’t do via computer.
As a result, becoming a travel agent is still an attractive career option–particularly given the contributions that tourism makes to the world.
This World Tourism Day, Lance Surety Bonds is proud to be a part of this chain. Through our work, we help aspiring agents get started in the business and operate legally. For years, we’ve helped travel agents get their travel agency bond, so they can keep making dreams come true. Let us know in the comments about a positive contribution that tourism has made to your life.