The global stage is brilliantly adorned, ready to host the grand celebration of World Tourism Day 2023, focusing on the pivotal theme of Tourism and Sustainable Investments.This year, the festivities are slated to be the most grandiose to date, with the official ceremonies scheduled for 27 September in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization's (UNWTO) Member States are poised to commemorate this day across every region, showcasing a plethora of special events and innovative programs. The celebrations aim to underline the immense potential of tourism to propel economic growth and societal development.

UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili, expressed, "Tourism holds unprecedented significance for our economies and societies. Its potential is boundless." He emphasised the importance of celebrating tourism's capability to foster growth and underscored the urgent need for investments to ensure this growth is inclusive and sustainable.

Spotlight on Sustainable Investments

In Riyadh and beyond, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) will emphasise the importance of sustainable investments in the tourism sector. This focus extends to:

1. Investment for People: Prioritising education and skills development.

2. Investment for the Planet: Building sustainable infrastructure and promoting green transformation.

3. Investment for Prosperity: Fueling innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship.

The Grand Celebration

UNWTO will present its Global Tourism Investment Framework during the official World Tourism Day celebrations. The event will include high-level panels addressing the challenges and opportunities surrounding investment in tourism. Over 100 UNWTO Member States and 50 Ministers of Tourism, along with private sector representatives, will participate.

Challenges Ahead

As tourism companies adapt to new sustainability regulations, challenges emerge. A recent study by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and Oliver Wyman found that the sector is responsible for 8.1% of global greenhouse gas emissions. While many major companies have set 2050 emission-reduction targets, others are just beginning to address climate change.

Data Collection and Compliance

Data collection poses challenges, given the sector's broad and fragmented value chains. Compliance with sustainability disclosures requires a culture shift within organisations, involving all departments, not just sustainability teams.

The Urgency of Sustainability

Travel and tourism are among the sectors most affected by climate change. With environmental crises on the rise, there's an urgent need for companies to go beyond compliance and adopt sustainable practices.

A Call to Action

World Tourism Day 2023 serves as a call to action. It unites the international community, governments, financial institutions, development partners, and private sector investors around a new tourism investment strategy. The goal is to ensure that tourism's growth is inclusive and sustainable.

In Conclusion

As we celebrate World Tourism Day 2023, we recognize the vital role of sustainable investments in shaping the future of the travel and tourism sector. With the collective efforts of stakeholders worldwide, tourism can drive economic growth while preserving our planet for future generations

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