As one of the New Year´s first truly global meetings of the international tourism community, the recently concluded SATTE 2019 set up an excellent stage for a year of strong cooperation, dialogue and meaningful advancement in tourism, in partnership with UNWTO. The UN tourism body has announced India as the host country for this year’s official celebration of World Tourism Day (WTD). WTD is an annual event held on 27 September and serves as a backdrop to underscore tourism’s potential and real economic and social contribution. The event this year has been themed “Tourism and Jobs: A Better Future for All.”
Speaking at the SATTE 2019 inaugural function and acknowledging that the year is particularly relevant with India hosting the 2019 official celebrations of World Tourism Day, Eunji Tae, Officer, Regional Department for Asia and the Pacific, UNWTO, said, “This year´s theme, “Tourism and Jobs: A Better Future for All” could not be more fitting for several challenges and opportunities which cut across sustainable development. It is no longer a secret that tourism is among the leading economic sectors across the world, surpassing 1.3 billion international arrivals per year - and growing. This is particularly true for South Asia, which achieved astonishing growth rate of 9 per cent in 2017, and shows its continued increase in the first 9 months in 2018. But we not only need to grow, we must grow better. That´s the only way we could continue to grow and evolve in a long term. These developments imply responsibility, especially ensuring the growing contribution of tourism to social, economic and environmental sustainability.”
Furthermore Tae added, “As much as the tourism sector are connected globally, this work of economic, social and environmentally sustainable development also needs mutual collaboration between different countries and regions, between public and private sectors, and between tourism industries and community in general. As this year´s theme of World Tourism Day, policies for fostering talents, providing and maintaining decent jobs in the tourism sector are at the core of UNWTO’s work and partnership with its members.”
Tae called for deepening collaboration in order to maximize tourism’s input to the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “Together let us prove the real power of tourism in achieving the tourism development which leads a better future for all,” she stressed.
Underscoring India’s contribution to the region’s success, she said, “In fact, India´s position in the world tourism map becomes more significant both as a destination and as a source market. South Asia and India have proven the importance of skills development for job creation.”