World Tourism Day 2023: Theme, Objectives

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world tourism day

World Tourism Day is annually observed on 27th September worldwide and is organised by the United Nations World Tourism Organization. Since its inception in 1980, the World Tourism Day or WTD has worked towards the promotion of global tourism and its related aspects. 

Did you know that the global travel and tourism market was valued at $ 10.5 Trillion in 2022? Out of which, the US was the most significant tourism market, with a total of  $175.43 billion. The theme for this year’s WTD is ‘Tourism and Green Investment,’ where the objective is to promote more convenient target investments to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, which is the roadmap to a better future by 2030. Curious to know more about World Tourism Day? Check out his article.

EventWorld Tourism Day
Date27th September
Organised ByUNWTO (Host Nations)
ObjectiveImportance of Tourism and its role
Official Website

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On 27th September 1980, the United Nations World Tourism Organization celebrated the first World Tourism Day as an international observance to promote global tourism and its related activities. The reason for choosing 27th September as WTD was that on this day in 1970, the statutes of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) were adopted.

The adoption of these statutes was deemed a milestone in global tourism development. On this day, the UNWTO plans to raise awareness of the importance of tourism in the international arena and how tourism is related to social, cultural, economic and political values.

In 1997, during the 12th WTD session in Istanbul, Turkey, a new makeover was given to this day. The UNWTO took the decision that a host country would be designated every year to celebrate World Tourism Day.


Initially, the UNWTO was responsible for deciding the themes for the WTD. From 1998, it became the responsibility of the host nation to decide the theme for the WTD. The theme for the 2023 World Tourism Day is ‘Tourism and Green Investment.’ The first to do so was Mexico, which hosted the 1998 WTD. The table below highlights all the themes for the WTD since 1998 with the names of host countries.

Year and CountryTheme
1998 MexicoPublic-private sector partnership: the key to tourism development and promotion
1999 ChileTourism: preserving world heritage for the new millennium
2000 GermanyTechnology and nature: two challenges for tourism at the dawn of the twenty-first century
2001 IranTourism: a tool for peace and dialogue among civilizations
2002 Costa RicaEcotourism, the key to sustainable development
2003 AlgeriaTourism: a driving force for poverty alleviation, job creation and social harmony
2004 MalaysiaSport and tourism: two living forces for mutual understanding, culture and the development of societies
2005 QatarTravel and transport: from the imaginary of Jules Verne to the reality of the 21st century
2006 PortugalTourism Enriches
2007 Sri LankaTourism opens doors for women
2008 PeruTourism: responding to the challenge of climate change
2009 GhanaTourism – celebrating diversity
2010 ChinaTourism and Biodiversity
2011 EgyptTourism – linking cultures
2012 SpainTourism & sustainable energy : powering sustainable development
2013 MaldivesTourism and water: protecting our common future
2014 MexicoTourism and community development
2015 Burkina Faso1 billion tourists, 1 billion opportunities
2016 ThailandTourism for all – promoting universal accessibility
2017 QatarSustainable tourism – a tool for development
2018 HungaryTourism and the digital transformation
2019 IndiaTourism and jobs: a better future for all
2020 Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile)Tourism and rural development
2021 Ivory CostTourism for Inclusive Growth
2022 IndonesiaRethinking Tourism
2023 Saudi ArabiaTourism and Green Investments

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Importance of Global Tourism

Global tourism holds significant importance for reasons like the social, cultural, economic, political and environmental well-being of nations and communities across the globe. Here are some key factors which make global tourism an important aspect.

  • Millions of people are employed at various levels in the tourism industry, where direct and indirect job opportunities are offered in tourism and its related sectors like transportation, hospitality, etc.
  • Tourism helps boost a nation’s GDP as it generates revenues for countries through foreign exchange earrings, investments and taxes.
  • A number of cultural and heritage sites have become attractions for global tourists, encouraging the preservation of cultural heritage and historical sites.
  • The development of tourism and local residents go hand in hand as the former can drive the growth of infrastructure and transport facilities.
  • With tourism, public awareness can be raised about the importance of conserving natural environments and wildlife.
  • Cultural ideas can be exchanged with tourism, as it provides opportunities for both travellers and hosts to learn about different cultures, their history, and traditions.


Q1. When do we observe the World Tourism Day?

A. The WTD is annually observed on 27th September under the direct authority of the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

Q2. What is the theme for the 2023 World Tourism Day?

A. The theme for this year’s WTD is ‘Tourism and Green Investment,’ which is targeted to meet SDGs by the end of 2030.

Q3. How big is the global tourism industry?

A. According to the reports released by Brainy Insights, the global tourism market was valued at $11.1 Trillion in 2022 and will expand up to $16.6 Trillion by 2030.

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