Tourism an important force to reduce poverty and foster global solidarity – UN

Top United Nations officials stressed the importance of tourism in reducing poverty and linking countries through tolerance and solidarity as they marked World Tourism Day.

Mr. Ban called for the incorporation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, a set of principles adopted by the UN to guide tourism stakeholders into sustainable and responsible tourism development.

The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary General, Taleb Rifai, also stressed the importance of the code in his message saying that tourism growth brings serious responsibilities to minimize any potentially negative impacts on the cultural assets and heritage of mankind.

Celebrated annually on 27 September, World Tourism Day serves to raise awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and the contributions it can make in the economic, political and social sectors, and how it can help towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

This year’s main celebrations are being held in Aswan, Egypt, with many other events taking place around the world. As part of the celebrations, industry leaders, academics and the media will take part in a think-tank discussion that will address the role of tourism in building understanding and tolerance worldwide.

UNWTO also launched a photo competition offering a trip to Egypt as its prize and its first-ever Twitter competition, asking people to tweet on how tourism can help link cultures.

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