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Recognizing World Tourism Day

September 27, 2007

Recognizing World Tourism Day
Sept. 27, 2007 –Today marks the official recognition of World Tourism Day, a worldwide annual event that began in 1980 and is organized by the World Tourism Organization. This day serves to foster awareness among the international community of the social, cultural, political and economic values of travel and tourism and takes place on Sept. 27 each year. The date was chosen to coincide with an important milestone in world tourism – the anniversary of the adoption of the UNWTO Statutes on Sept. 27, 1970.

The theme for this year, which was selected by the General Assembly, is "Tourism opens doors for women." On this day, people are encouraged to celebrate women’s achievements in the tourism sector.

Sri Lanka is the host for the 2007 official World Tourism Day activities. For this year’s celebration, UNWTO has launched a campaign and photo competition to increase public awareness of the opportunities for women.

Francesco Frangialli, secretary general for the UNWTO said that, "the development of women’s role not only gives a society balance, but it strengthens economies and social structures. The challenges now revolve around issues like ensuring income parity, raising employment quality, creating reasonable workplace conditions and penetrating glass ceilings."

According to the UNWTO, of the 1.3 billion people living in poverty around the world, 70 percent are women. Women do about 66 percent of the world’s work in return for less than five percent of its income.

Frangialli says that one of the most important characteristics of tourism is its great capacity to create employment for women and for youth and particularly at a community level in poor countries.

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