This year’s celebration highlights the need for more and better targeted investment in people, planet and prosperity.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) will celebrate World Tourism Day on September 27, with the theme “Green Tourism and Investment” with the aim of better supporting
to the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
UNWTO identified investments as one of the key priorities for the recovery of tourism and its future growth and development. For this year’s celebration, it highlights the need for more and better targeted investments for people, planet and prosperity.
They indicate that it is time for new and innovative solutions and not just traditional investments that promote and underpin economic growth and productivity.
This year will be a call to action for the international community, governments, multilateral financial institutions, development partners and private sector investors to unite around a new tourism investment strategy.
The celebration of an international tourism day will highlight the vital need to invest in projects that work for people (investing in education and skills), the planet (investing in tourism infrastructure to improve competitiveness, build resilience and accelerate the achievement of SDG 4 (quality education).
To do this, the sector must invest in education and skills development, including for women, in all areas to promote value-added jobs and resilience. We cannot create more sustainable tourism without the right talent.
Investing in people
Tourism is one of the world’s leading employers. In 2019, the sector employed one in 10 people worldwide and has proven to be an economic diversification tool and a primary driver of employment with a multiplier effect on other sectors contributing to rural development.
Moreover, in rural areas, tourism can particularly benefit traditionally disadvantaged groups, such as women – who make up 54% of workers in the tourism sector compared to 39% in the economy as a whole – youth and indigenous peoples.
Likewise, tourism is an easily accessible sector for micro and small businesses and the self-employed, who make up a considerable part of the tourism sector and entrepreneurship at the community level in general.
However, in emerging destinations, 50% of young people are unable to work in tourism due to lack of opportunities, resources or access to formal training.
In addition, current education and training opportunities, with a strong emphasis on hotel management, are unbalanced. As we look to the future, between now and 2030, millions of hospitality graduates per year will be needed as global tourism workers and an additional 800,000 jobs per year will require specific vocational training.
For these reasons, we need to invest in people, who are the foundation of tourism. That is why UNWTO is dedicated to empowering them and directing investment towards the core of our future actions.