World Tourism Day 2011

“Tourism – Linking Cultures” is this year’s theme for World Tourism Day. The organization, the UN World Tourism Organization, was established as a specialized UN agency in 2003, but World Tourism Day has been happening since 1980. Every year the UNWTO “invites people of all ages and backgrounds to hold and take part in World Tourism Day celebrations in their respective country or holiday destinations. The Aswan recommendations were presented during the think tank, held in Aswan, Egypt,  and identify 6 key actions that will enable the best possible interactions between visitors and hosts. Here is their list, which is especially relevant in the culturally diverse Hawaiian Islands.
  1. That awareness-raising campaigns be carried out to ensure that visitors and businesses are actively informed and involved in respecting local cultural norms and values;
  1. That all those supplying tourism services possess local knowledge in order to serve as mediators between visitors and local communities and to be able to provide an enriching experience based on respectful interaction with local communities;
  1. That local community engagement be mandatory in tourism development, particularly local hiring, thus including the local population in the tourism value-chain, alleviating poverty and contributing to social cohesion as a principle of sustainable development;
  1. That all tourism stakeholders commit to the principles set out in the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, notably Article 1: Tourism´s contribution to mutual understanding and respect between peoples and societies, Article 4: Tourism, a user of the cultural heritage of mankind and a contributor to its enhancement, and Article 5: Tourism, a beneficial activity for host countries and communities, and share with UNWTO and the international community the actions taken to implement these principles in their policies and business practices;
  1. That the respect and protection of the ecological balance of the tourism destination be prioritized as essential for sustainable tourism and thus for understanding among peoples and cultures;
  1. That support be afforded to the actions envisaged by UNWTO in the field of tourism and intercultural dialogue, given its fundamental aim to promote and develop tourism “with a view to contributing to economic development, international understanding, peace”

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