World Tourism Day 2021 - Tourism for inclusiva growth

Official Message by the Secretary-General, UNWTO

Official Message by the Secretary-General, UNWTOThe human desire to travel and explore is universal, which is why tourism must be open for everyone to enjoy.

So too must the many social and economic benefits that tourism brings be available to everybody.

World Tourism Day 2021 highlights the power of ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth’.

By celebrating this day, we state our commitment that, as tourism grows, the benefits that come will be felt at every level of our broad and diverse sector, from the biggest airline to the smallest family business.

Today, we reaffirm our pledge that, as we move forward and work to build a more prosperous and peaceful world through tourism, we will not leave anyone behind.

It is a pledge that is both timely and necessary. The pause in international travel caused by the pandemic has made clear the relevance of tourism to our societies.

The economic and social impact has been felt far beyond the sector itself. And in many places, the most vulnerable members of society have been hit hardest of all.

Working for inclusive growth means getting everybody behind a better vision for tourism. Only this way can tourism’s restart reach the people and communities that need it the most right now and build the foundations for a better future for all.

I welcome all our Members, Affiliate Members, governments, destinations and businesses to join us in marking this day, celebrated as tourism’s importance to every part of our societies is more evident than ever before.

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Official Message by the Secretary-General, UN

António GuterresOn World Tourism Day, we recognize the power and potential of tourism to advance prosperity and drive inclusive, sustainable development. The tourism sector touches almost every part of our economies and societies, enabling historically marginalized people and those at risk of being left behind to benefit from development that is local and direct.

Tourism continues to suffer enormously under the COVID-19 pandemic: in the first five months of this year, international tourist arrivals decreased by a staggering 95 per cent in parts of the world and forecasts suggest a loss of over $4 trillion to global GDP by the end of 2021. This is a major shock for developed economies, but for developing countries, it is an emergency.

Climate change is also severely affecting many major tourist destinations, particularly Small Island Developing States where tourism accounts for nearly 30 percent of economic activity.

With many millions of livelihoods in jeopardy, it is time to rethink, transform, and safely restart tourism. With the right safeguards in place, the tourism sector can provide decent jobs, helping to build resilient, sustainable, gender-equal, inclusive economies and societies that work for everyone. This means targeted action and investment to shift towards green tourism – with high emitting sectors, including air and sea transport and hospitality, moving towards carbon neutrality. 

And it means giving everybody a say in how tourism shapes the future of our societies and our planet. Only through inclusive decision-making can we ensure inclusive, sustainable growth, deliver on the promise of the SDGs, and transform tourism to fulfil its potential as an engine for prosperity, a vehicle for integration, a means to protect our planet and biodiversity, and an agent of cultural understanding between peoples.

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Message from Mr. Siandou Fofana Minister of Tourism and Leisure of Côte d'Ivoire

Mr. Siandou Fofana Minister of Tourism and Leisure of Côte d'IvoireThe official celebration of World Tourism Day in Côte d'Ivoire, around the theme "Tourism for inclusive development", resonates as an anthem of unity of the entire global tourism community, under the auspices of the UNWTO. It is a new opportunity for the revival of our sector, with a view to the prosperity of our valued populations. Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism industry had demonstrated, through its transversality and job-creation capacity, that it was a powerful lever to fight against poverty and to promote the social and economic inclusion of vulnerable groups. This is the precisely the meaning and essence of the inclusive nature of Tourism.

Moreover, with a clear and ambitious strategy called "Sublime Côte d'Ivoire", our country, which opens its arms to you with its legendary hospitality, has proved that there is enormous tourism potential that is just waiting to be realized in order to allow the harmonious development of the territories, offer a reservoir of jobs and constitute a source of revenue and value creation for the State and communities, without losing sight of the exigencies of sustainable and equitable tourism. Côte d'Ivoire also intends to respond to the major challenges of digitalizing the tourism sector by promoting startups and through a more resolute policy to deploy digital technology at all levels of the value chain.

During this pandemic crisis, our country and the tourism sector have shown their resilience. In this regard, the attractiveness of Côte d'Ivoire as a destination has been repeatedly reaffirmed, and thus we welcome you with open arms and with the smile that befits our hospitable tradition. Rich in its diversity and the talent of our artisans, Côte d'Ivoire will offer a sublime experience with its inexhaustible creativity.

A land of hope and hospitality, it is the embodiment of the capacity for resilience that tourism is showing in the face of COVID-19, thanks to the combined actions of all public actors with a more ambitious and dynamic policy that has unleashed the energy of all strata of society.

Indeed, dear tourism stakeholders, World Tourism Day will be an opportunity to think about the tourism of tomorrow. Côte d'Ivoire, a country of hospitality, a land of hope, welcomes you.

Akwaba to your home...

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Message from Ms. Mokaddem from African Development Bank

Ms. Mokaddem from African Development BankHow has tourism transformed your life

One of the most attractive benefits of tourism is its ability to foster a sense of cultural exchange between foreigners and citizens. Tourism plays a magnificent role in show-casing the country’s culture, heritage and pride of the people.

Tourism not only enables us to expand our horizons, appreciate mother nature and connect with people from ‘all walks of life’… It also enhances the socio-economic growth and job creation, income generation and the development of countries’ infrastructure. I am very grateful that through the African development Bank support, we were able to support Tourism development.

Finish the sentence of why tourism matters:

Tourism matters because it plays an important role in people’s general well-being, attitude toward life, sense of control, and outlook. It is a key pillar of national development contributing to local economic development and growth, employment, investment as well as technology dissemination. Besides travel, tourism is also closely linked with sectors such as health, education, climate and environment.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disparate impact on SME-dominant sectors, specifically in tourism, industries, trade, and services. The African Development Bank has provided a USD 10 billion Covid Response Facility to the Continent. It has also provided support to the tourism sector in various countries. And we will continue to support the sustainable recovery of tourism, promoting private sector participation combined with the digital transition, moving to a greener tourism system, and rethinking tourism for the future.

Send a congratulatory message on World Tourism Day!

On behalf of The President of the African Development Bank Group,  Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina, and on my own behalf, we wish you a Happy World Tourism Day!

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