Sept. 27 is World Tourism Day, which is not just about travel, but also diversity and cultural understanding. So, get out there and see or do something new!
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) sponsors the event every year with the hopes of bringing cultures and people together through travel; this year's theme is linking cultures.
World Tourism Day is an opportunity to reflect on the importance of tourism to global well-being. As we travel, let us engage with other cultures and celebrate human diversity. On this observance, let us recognize tourism as a force for a more tolerant, open and united world, UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon wrote on the UNWTO Web site.
According to UNWTO, tourism is growing and providing both economic development and cross-cultural understanding. In 2010 alone, 940 million people traveled outside of their home country. With tourism comes responsibility, and Ki-Moon urges tourist industries and tourists to respect the UN Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, the UN guidelines on sustainable tourism.
This year's official celebration takes place in Aswan, Egypt, a country whose tourism industry has almost collapsed due to revolution.
It may be too late to pack your bags for Egypt, but you can still find diversity within your own city; check out a new museum, cultural center, or just go to dinner and try new foods from around the world.
Want some inspiration for next year's World Tourism Day? Check out some of our travel suggestions: