New Telegraph

Tourism must benefit everybody globally –UNWTO

As tourism operators and countries of the world mark World Tourism Day (WTD) tomorrow, the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organsiation (UNWTO), Zurab Pololikashvili, has charged countries to pay greater attention to tourism and deploy it in the development of the rural communities as it has over the years transformed many rural communities. Pololikashvili gave this charge in his goodwill message to mark this years’ WTD, which is celebrated yearly under UNWTO to draw attention of the global community to the economic power of kingtourism as tourism is said to be the largest employer of labour with one in every 10 jobs coming from the sector.

Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile are the joint host countries for the global celebration this year while every member state of UNWTO, including Nigeria, are expected to host different events across their various towns and cities to mark the day. The theme for this year’s celebration is Tourism and Rural Development.

Taking his cue from this, the UNWTO scribe noted that: “Tourism and Rural Development – is particularly relevant as we face up to an unprecedented crisis. Tourism has proven to be a lifeline for many rural communities. ‘”However, its true force still needs to be fully deployed.

The sector is not just a leading source of employment, particularly for women and youth. It also provides opportunities for territorial cohesion and socio-economic inclusion for the most vulnerable regions. “Tourism helps rural communities hold onto their unique natural and cultural heritage, supporting conservation projects, including those safeguarding endangered species, lost traditions or flavours.”

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