Since 1980


World Tourism Day Celebrations

World Tourism Day has been held on 27 September each year since 1980. The date marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Statutes of the Organization in 1970, paving the way for the establishment of UNWTO five years later.

Establishment of World Tourism Day

It was at its third session (Torremolinos, Spain, September 1979), that the UNWTO General Assembly decided to institute World Tourism Day, commencing in the year 1980. This date was chosen to coincide with an important milestone in world tourism: the anniversary of the adoption of the UNWTO Statutes on 27 September 1970.

The timing of World Tourism Day is particularly appropriate in that it comes at the end of the high season in the northern hemisphere and the beginning of the season in the southern hemisphere.

World Tourism Day 2020

World Tourism Day 2020

Tourism and Rural Development” celebrates the sector’s unique ability to drive economic development and provide opportunities outside of big cities, including in those communities that would otherwise be left behind. World Tourism Day 2020 also highlights the important role tourism plays in preserving and promoting culture and heritage all around the world.

World Tourism Day 2020: Tourism and Rural Development

World Tourism Day 2019

World Tourism Day 2019

Tourism is a major source of employment because of its labour-intensive nature and the significant multiplier effect on employment in related sectors. It is estimated that one job in the core tourism sector creates about one-and-a-half additional or indirect jobs in the tourism-related economy. Overall tourism accounts for one in ten jobs worldwide.

World Tourism Day 2019: Tourism and Jobs: a better future for all

World Tourism Day 2018

World Tourism Day 2018

Harnessing innovation and digital advances provides tourism with opportunities to improve inclusiveness, local community empowerment and efficient resource management, amongst other objectives within the wider sustainable development agenda

Sustainability & digital transformation in tourism

World Tourism Day 2017

World Tourism Day 2017

As the United Nations General Assembly affirmed when announcing the adoption of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, tourism can contribute to all the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental – and each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Not only does the sector spearhead growth, it also improves the quality of people’s lives.

International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017

World Tourism Day 2016

World Tourism Day 2016

Accessible Tourism for all is about the creation of environments that can cater for the needs of all of us, whether we are traveling or staying at home. May that be due to a disability, even temporary, families with small children, or the ageing population, at some point in our lives, sooner or later, we all benefit of universal accessibility in tourism.

Promoting Universal Accessibility

World Tourism Day 2015: 1 Billion Tourists 1 Billion Opportunities

World Tourism Day 2015: 1 Billion Tourists 1 Billion Opportunities

1 Billion Tourists 1 Billion Opportunities

World Tourism Day 2014

World Tourism Day 2014

WTD 2014 has been celebrated around the world under the theme Tourism and Community Development - focusing on the ability of tourism to empower people and provide them with skills to achieve change in their local communities.

Tourism and Community Development

World Tourism Day 2013: Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future

World Tourism Day 2013: Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future

In support of United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation, World Tourism Day (WTD) 2013 was held under the theme Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future.

Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future

World Tourism Day 2012: Tourism & Sustainable Energy: Powering Sustainable Development

World Tourism Day 2012: Tourism & Sustainable Energy: Powering Sustainable Development

Tourism, one of the world’s largest economic sectors, has already taken important steps towards this future – improving energy efficiency and increasingly using renewable energy technologies in its operations. These steps are creating jobs, lifting people out of poverty and helping to protect the planet.

Powering Sustainable Development

World Tourism Day 2010 - China
Tourism and Biodiversity

World Tourism Day 2009 - Ghana
Tourism - Celebrating Diversity

World Tourism Day 2008: Tourism

World Tourism Day 2008: Tourism

Responding to the Challenge of Climate Change

World Tourism Day 2007

World Tourism Day 2007

World Tourism Day 2007 (WTD 2007) took place in Bentota, Sri Lanka under the theme Tourism Opens Doors for Women in support of UN’s 3rd Millennium Development Goal: Promoting gender equality and women empowerment.

Tourism Opens Doors for Women

World Tourism Day 2006

World Tourism Day 2006

Every year the United Nations designates special days to commemorate particular events or activities. September 27th is the day on which we celebrate the phenomenon that is Tourism.

Tourism Enriches

WTD 2005 - Qatar - Travel and transport: from the imaginary of Jules Verne to the reality of the 21st century                       

WTD 2004 - Malaysia - Sport and tourism: two living forces for mutual understanding, culture and the development of societies                  

WTD 2003 - Algeria - Tourism: a driving force for poverty alleviation, job creation and social harmony                          

WTD 2002 - Costa Rica - Ecotourism, the key to sustainable development  

WTD 2001- Iran (Islamic Republic of) - Tourism: a tool for peace and dialogue among civilizations         

WTD 2000 - Germany - Technology and nature: two challenges for tourism at the dawn of the twenty-first century

WTD 1999 - Chile - Tourism: preserving world heritage for the new millennium

WTD 1998 - Mexico - Public-private sector partnership: the key to tourism development and promotion   

WTD 1997 - Tourism: a leading activity of the twenty-first century for job creation and environmental protection

WTD 1996 - Tourism: a factor of tolerance and peace

WTD 1995 - WTO: serving world tourism for twenty years

WTD 1994 - Quality staff, quality tourism

WTD 1993 - Tourism development and environmental protection: towards a lasting harmony

WTD 1992 - Tourism: a factor of growing social and economic solidarity and of encounter between people

WTD 1991 - Communication, information and education: powerlines of tourism development

WTD 1990 - Tourism: an unrecognized industry, a service to be released

WTD 1989 - The free movement of tourists creates one world

WTD 1988 - Tourism: education for all

WTD 1987 - Tourism for development

WTD 1986 - Tourism: a vital force for world peace

WTD 1985 - Youth Tourism: cultural and historical heritage for peace and friendship

WTD 1984 - Tourism for international understanding, peace and cooperation

WTD 1983 - Travel and holidays are a right but also a responsibility for all

WTD 1982 - Pride in travel: good guests and good hosts

WTD 1981 - Tourism and the quality of life

WTD 1980 - Tourism's contribution to the preservation of cultural heritage and to peace and mutual understanding