World Tourism Day, celebrated annually on September 27th, is a day to acknowledge and celebrate the importance of tourism in fostering cultural exchange, economic growth, and global understanding. Established by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in 1980, this day provides an opportunity to reflect on the positive impact of tourism on our world and to promote sustainable and responsible travel. In this article, we explore the significance of World Tourism Day and its role in promoting a better future through travel.
The Theme of World Tourism Day 2023: “Tourism for Inclusive Growth”
Each year, World Tourism Day is celebrated with a specific theme that highlights various aspects of tourism. The theme for 2023, “Tourism for Inclusive Growth,” underscores the potential of tourism to contribute to equitable development, providing opportunities for all while preserving cultural heritage and the environment.
The Importance of World Tourism
- Economic Benefits: Tourism is a significant driver of economic growth worldwide. It creates jobs, stimulates small and large businesses, and generates income for local communities. In many countries, tourism is a major contributor to GDP.
- Cultural Exchange: Tourism encourages people from different cultures and backgrounds to interact and learn from one another. Travelers have the opportunity to immerse themselves in new customs, traditions, and languages, fostering mutual respect and understanding.
- Preservation of Cultural Heritage: Tourism can help preserve and protect cultural heritage sites and traditions by generating revenue for their maintenance and promotion. This ensures that these valuable assets are passed on to future generations.
- Environmental Sustainability: Sustainable tourism practices promote the protection of natural resources and wildlife. Many destinations are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint and promote responsible travel to safeguard the environment.
- Peace and Diplomacy: Tourism can be a powerful tool for peace and diplomacy. People-to-people interactions through travel can break down barriers and promote dialogue and cooperation between nations.
Where have you traveler to with the best memories?
Most Canadians travel to US or to southern countries like Cuba, Dominican Republic or Mexico, yet many like more challenging and more cultural travel rather than 7 day all inclusive resorts.
In 2019, Canadians travelled abroad on 37.8 million occasions, the majority of which were 27.1 million journeys to the US. Canadians “spent $21.1 billion on their trips to the United States in 2019, up 4.8% from a year earlier,” despite the fact that travel to the United States was down 2.3% in 2019 compared to 2018.
10.7 million Canadians also travelled abroad, with Mexico (1.8 million), Cuba (964,000), the United Kingdom (770,000), China (666,000), and Italy (619,000) being the most popular destinations.
275 million domestic trips were made by Canadians in 2019, which is a 1.0% decrease from 2018. Spending on domestic travel within Canada fell 0.3% from the previous year to $45.9 billion.
According statistics Canada, 46.5 million journeys were made by Canadians in the first quarter of 2022, over 20 million higher than in the same period in 2021. The increase from 2021 shows that travel activity is still recovering even if this is fewer than three-quarters (73.2%) of the number of travels taken during the same period in 2019 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As travel restrictions began to loosen in the first quarter, Canadians made more than 1.3 million international excursions, surpassing one million for the first time since the pandemic’s start. Despite passing this milestone, there were only half as many (40.0%) of these travels as there were in the same quarter of 2019.
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Top Travel Destinations and Hidden Gems
How can you not love Italy and its beautiful destinations like Venice, Rome, Lake Como, Cinque Terre, Pisa or Amalfi coast. Not only is Italy full of gorgeous towns and amazing cuisine, but Italy rather has the largest cultural and historical aspect:
Florence, hidden among the Tuscan hills, has had a significant historical impact. Firenze (or Florence), the birthplace of the Renaissance, served as a haven for the wealthy Medici family and served as an inspiration to artists like Michelangelo (David) and Brunelleschi (the Duomo). You might mistakenly believe that you had returned to the fourteenth century if it weren’t for the stylish Italians and upscale stores lining Via Tornabuoni. The city is home to numerous art collections, particularly those housed in the Pitti Palace and the Uffizi (which hosts around 1.6 million visitors annually). It has been the birthplace or chosen home of many notable historical figures, such as Dante, Boccaccio, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Niccolò Machiavelli, Brunelleschi, Michelangelo, Donatello, Galileo Galilei, Catherine de’ Medici, Luigi Cherubini, Antonio Meucci, Guccio Gucci, Franco Zeffirelli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Roberto Cavalli, and Emilio Pucci.
Pompeii, archaeologists, historians, and tour guides all agree that Pompeii is the greatest archeological site ever found. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Volcanic ash “flash frozen” it, preserving daily life in an instant. Almost 1500 years after its discovery, we have learned countless facts about Roman civilization. A must-see destination that nobody should skip is Pompeii. The finest place to get a sense of ancient Roman daily life is at this enormous archeological site.
Hidden Gems in Italy:
Isola Bella – Lago Maggiore
Matera, Basilicata (and Massafra, Puglia)
Villa d’Este Gardens, Tivoli, near Rome
Another European Country that has amazing historical, cultural and general WOW factor is France. With cultural ties to Canada, France is a natural choice for many Canadians to visit at least one in lifetime. With the obvious destinations like Paris, Strasbourg, Toulouse and French Riviera, France is top destination for Vine lovers, Coffee enthusiasts and foodies because of one of the best cuisines in the world. France is also famous for fashion, lavish castles, old cathedrals and breathtakingly beautiful gardens and parks.
Côte d’Azur, also called the French Riviera, is a posh section of Mediterranean coastline so named because of its intensely azure waters. The Côte d’Azur is a popular coastal resort zone that generally stretches from Saint-Tropez to Menton, fewer than 30 km from the border with Italy. Who did not fall in love with Saint-Tropez when watching funny movies from Louis de Funet or who did not desire to visit Cannes during famous Cannes Film Festival. But French Riviera in its entire length is just breathtakingly beautiful with Saint Martin and famous French Riviera roads with dramatic coastal views, which you can discover by car through three scenic routes: the Grande Corniche, the Moyenne Corniche and the Corniche Inférieure.
Versailles, Château de Versailles, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is only a short train journey from Paris. This lavish 17th-century palace was constructed for Louis XIV (also known as the “Sun King”) and serves as a reminder of the splendour and total dominance of the French king. Visitors may visualize a scenario from France’s former royal court thanks to the château’s magnificent Baroque façade, glittering Hall of Mirrors, and formal gardens with fountains. Le Hameau de la Reine, the fictitious country village built by the previous Queen to escape the formality of court life, is open to visitors who wish to stroll around. The hamlet has a lake, an orchard, a dovecote, and it once had a dairy.
Hidden Gems of France
Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy
Prehistoric Caves in the Dordogne & the Pyrenees
Eze – Côte d’Azur
Other European Must Visit Countries
Spain: Barcelona, Costa Brava, Cordoba, Granada, Segovia
England: London, Bath, Stonehenge, Warwickshire, The University Towns of Cambridge & Oxford
Greece: Athens, Mount Athos, Delphi, Mykonos, Santorini
Hidden Gems of Europe
Bosnia and Herzegowina: Sarajevo, Mostar, Jajce, Pocitelj
Austria: Graz, Salzburg, Vienna, Hallstatt and the Dachstein Salzkammergut
Czech Republic: Prague, Karlovy Vary, Kutná Hora, Hluboká Castle
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One can not think of Asia and not have a picture of Thailand and it’s beautiful architecture and monasteries. Thailand, a historically Buddhist nation, is dotted with countless temples and spirit homes that rise from its forests, mountains, islands, and urban centres.
Bangkok, is easily the country’s major urban hub, this engrossing city is a visual feast of gold-tipped temples, shining skyscrapers, and streets busy with food stalls, tuk-tuks, and the occasional orange-robed monk. Many people consider the Grand Palace to be the mandatory first stop. The tall walls of this old official house of the Thai royal family contain opulent buildings, gilded holy sites, and epic artworks, making it a sixty-acre temple to Thai culture. The stop anchors you in Thailand’s illustrious past. Additionally, you can escape the city by taking a tranquil river cruise along the Chao Praya. Pass temples and riverfront markets as you cruise along its waters under the shelter of old brick.
Chiang Mai, you may enjoy the stunning mountain scenery here as well as the Old City’s plethora of ancient temples, including Wat Phra Singh and Wat Chedi Luang. For expansive views of the city below, travel outside the city to the Doi Suthep temple. Worshipping the Phra That doi suthep, a significant landmark for the Chiang Mai people, is one of the most popular tourist activities in Chiang Mai. Visit Thapae Walking Street to learn about the local way of life and buy for chic handcrafted goods.
Hidden Gems in Thailand:
Phuket – Thailand’s largest island, Phuket, is also its most visited by tourists.
Phang Nga – One of the best diving sites in Thailand and site of many movies.
Railay Beach – Four gorgeous expanses of sand are available at Railay Beach for your toes to dig into.
Another Asian Country that should be on anyones bucket list is China. With it’s natural beauty, cultural and historical aspect, China is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Since the western world first learned about China through the traveller Marco Polo’s writings more than 700 years ago, this enormous Asian nation has come to be seen as the epitome of everything that is enigmatic and exotic.
The Great Wall of China, the proverbial Chinese proverb “Nobody can be a true hero unless he has been on the Great Wall” sums up the significance attached to this exceptional old structure. From the fortresses of Shanhaiguan in the east to Jiayuguan in the west, the magnificent Great Wall of China, also known as “Changcheng” or the “Long Wall,” spans more than 6,000 kilometres. It passes through the provinces of Hebei, Tientsin, Beijing, where the best preserved sections of the wall can be seen, Inner Mongolia, Ningxia, and Gansu.
The Forbidden City, Beijing, also known as the Imperial Palace, is the biggest and most significant structure in China. It is located in the centre of Beijing and is a must-see for everyone travelling to the nation. This sprawling structure, which was actually many magnificent palaces in one, was home to 24 Ming and Qing emperors, whose presence prohibited anybody other than the imperial family and their courtesans from entering.
Hidden Gems in China
The Terracotta Army, Xi’an – part of the Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum Site Park
The Yangtze River and the Three Gorges – Numerous sightseeing options are available
The Potala Palace, Tibet – residence for the Dalai Lama, it was for centuries a center of political and religious powe
Other Asian Must Visit Countries
Japan: Mount Fuji, Imperial Tokyo, Kyoto, Temple City
Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur, Batu Caves, Sandakan, Perhentian Islands
Indonesia: Beaches of Bali, Borobudur, Borneo, Komodo National Park, Raja Ampat
Hidden Gems of Asia
India: Taj Mahal, The Holy City of Varanasi, The Golden Temple of Amritsar
Jordan: Petra, Jerash Ruins, Madaba, Aqaba
Cambodia: Angkor Wat, Phnom Penh, Prasat Preah Vihear, Banteay Chhmar
South and Midd America
When thinking of South America first country that comes to ming is mighty Brasil. The majority of the Amazon River basin, which possesses the largest river system and most intact rainforest in the entire planet, is located in Brazil. With native amazonian tribes struggle and advancing rain forrest deforestation, Brasil is often negatively depicted in the world news. Football crazy, samba loving and passionate carnival goers, Brasil is top South American destination.
Rio de Janeiro is certainly top Brasil destination for many reasons. Cristo Redentor and Corcovado, a massive Art Deco statue of Christ that stands 28 meters tall and has arms outstretched as if to embrace all of humanity, looks over Rio de Janeiro and the bay from the top of Corcovado. Copacabana, who doesn’t dream of visiting this most famous beach in the world, you could enjoy the sun, sea and for football fans, you could play beach football like the champions. Carnaval, a must for samba enthusiasts and party lovers. Extravaganza for colour, sound, action, and exuberance. Instead of being simply another chaotic street celebration, this is a carefully orchestrated spectacle where viewers can witness the parades of competing samba dancers from a specially constructed stadium that was designed by none other than Oscar Niemeyer, perhaps Brazil’s most well-known architect.
Amazon Rainforests, if you have ever watched The Emerald Forrest directed by John Boorman, you would automatically fall in love with this amazing rain forest and it’s ever disappearing indigenous tribes. It is probably waste of time writing about all the flora and fauna of Amazonian rain forests because it is such a well known topic. Having said that, untouched wilderness and be able to see the biggest river in the world is beyond special. The main tourist destination and entrance to the Brazilian Amazon is Manaus. There are numerous jungle lodges in the area, and it is advised to stay at least two nights in one of them to fully experience the Amazon.
Hidden Gems in Brasil
São Paulo: Ibirapuera Park, Museo do Futebol, Parque da Independància and Museu Paulista
Porto de Galinhas & Pernambuco Beaches: Porto de Galinhas is usually mentioned as having the best beach in Brazil because of the clear waters, tall palm palms, and vast stretches of silver sand, to name just a few.
The center of ethno-tourism Brazil in Manaus – Many rain forest trips include stops to the Dessana, an indigenous tribe.
Another tourist hub in South America is Peru. Peru features experiences and activities that are as diverse as its landscape, which ranges from mountains and jungle to the sea. The top locations to see in Peru range from towering Inca monuments to the remains of pre-Hispanic civilizations that were once buried beneath desert sands.
Machu Picchu, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and Peru’s top tourist attraction, lives up to the hype as a mysterious and breathtaking archaeological site from the 15th century. From the Sacred Valley town of Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu, which translates to “old peak” in the native Quechua language of the Andes, is a two-hour train ride away. The truly daring can also follow in the Incas’ footsteps by hiking the famed Inca Trail, a four- to five-day journey that covers 26 miles (42 km) of terrain.
Lake Titicaca, was a body of water that the Incas revered. In reality, the high-altitude lake is frequently mentioned in Andean legend as the origin of the first Inca, Manco Capac, and his wife, Mama Ocllo. At 12,500 feet (3810 meters) above sea level, Lake Titicaca is the world’s highest navigable body of water and a natural wonder. Visit the Uros people, who live a fascinating life dedicated to the preservation of local handicrafts and fishing, as you glide out to the floating reed islands that dot the lake.
Hidden Gems of Peru
Choquequirao: is frequently compared to a smaller Machu Picchu, although not because of its size.
Caral: constructed roughly 5000 years ago and has been impressively preserved.
Kuelap: Since the 7th century, this walled community has existed among the clouds.
Other Must Visit Countries in South and Midd America
Argentina: Buenos Aires, Iguazú Falls, Perito Moreno Glacier, Tierra del Fuego National Park
Chile: Easter Island & Rapa Nui National Park, Santiago, Torres Del Paine National Park, Cape Horn
Costa Rica: Arenal Volcano, Monteverde and the Cloud Forests, Dominical, Tortuguero National Park
Hidden Gems of South and Central America
Bolivia: Lake Titicaca, Tiwanaku, Salar de Uyuni, Yungas Road
Mexico: Tulum, Chichen Itza, Teotihuacan, Palenque, Cenote Dos Ojos
Belize: Ambergris Caye & Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Lighthouse Reef Atoll and the Blue Hole, Lamanai Archaeological Reserve
Australia and Oceania
As the first Continent and Country name is called, Australia is the top destination in that part of the World. With many top destinations like Sydney, Grand Barrier Reef and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, this enormous country has everything for everyone.
Sydney: The Sydney Opera House, one of the great landmarks of the globe and a UNESCO globe Heritage Site, is the main draw on the sparkling harbour. This elegant structure, which resembles shells or billowing sails, is perched on a small peninsula surrounded by sea. The Sydney Harbour Bridge, also referred to as the “Coathanger,” is another Sydney landmark. It was constructed in 1932 and is still the largest steel arch bridge in the world. It is supported by enormous double piers at each end. Sydney is well known for its stunning beaches. There are numerous protected coves with calm sea and sweet sands tucked around the harbour.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Queensland: You must see the Great Barrier Reef before leaving Australia. One of the world’s biggest living constructions, this natural wonder is a part of the World Heritage list. From space, you can see how big it is. It’s a must-visit location for snorkelers, divers, island connoisseurs, and nature lovers. More than 3,000 coral reefs, 600 continental islands, including the stunning Whitsunday group, 300 coral cays, and nearby mangrove islands are among these.
Must Visit Places in Australia and Hidden Gems
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Northern Territory: One of the most photographed natural wonders in the nation is Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock).
Daintree National Park, Queensland: is among the most ancient ecosystems on Earth.
Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory: it’s the second-largest national park in the world.
One of the most extraordinary places on Earth is New Zealand, which is home to countless scenes of expansive, lush landscapes and untainted nature. Along with its unending natural beauty, New Zealand is renowned for its vibrant culture, hospitable residents, and top-notch cuisine and beverages.
Bay Of Islands is a sanctuary for sailing and yachts. The Bay of Islands necklace is adorned with pearls from 144 islands. Explore unspoiled forests, kayak along the shore, climb the island’s trails, and enjoy quiet coves.
Auckland: The two harbours that make up Auckland’s crown jewels are Manukau Harbour and Waitemata Harbour. This city is the ideal starting point for adventure seekers because to its woods, untamed hiking paths, secret coves, stunning islands, and enigmatic volcanoes.
Queenstown is one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist spots. The list of adrenaline-pumping activities at this popular New Zealand tourist destination is extensive and includes bungee jumping, white-water rafting, jet boating, rock climbing, paragliding, hiking, downhill skiing, and mountain biking.
The Fiordland National Park is breathtakingly beautiful. There is never a dull time in this place thanks to the whispering waterfalls, distant islands, stretches of lake, untouched forests, lofty mountain summits, and gushing cascades. Sea kayaking and aerial tours are two popular methods to discover the fjords and take in this must-see location in New Zealand.
Must visit Oceania Destinations and Hidden Gems
Tasmania: Island full of beautiful rain forrest and creatures like Tasmanian Devil and Tasmanian Tigre who has been sadly declared as extinct in 1936.
Fiji Islands: This largely unpopulated country, is made up of nothing less than 333 islands. one of Oceania’s most well-known locations for being a paradisal vacation spot and the stuff of tropical dreams
French Polynesia: Tahiti is a highly well-liked luxury vacation spot, particularly with newlyweds. Its turquoise-colored beaches, tranquilly, extinct volcanoes, and waterfalls all draw tourists.
World Tourism Day serves as a reminder of the transformative power of travel. It’s a day to celebrate the beauty of our world, the richness of our cultures, and the economic opportunities that tourism presents. As we mark this day, let us also commit to responsible travel practices that preserve the planet, respect local cultures, and contribute to the well-being of communities around the globe. By doing so, we can ensure that tourism continues to be a force for good in our interconnected world.