World Tourism Day 2020 Focuses On Tourism and Rural Development

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World Tourism Day 2020 Focuses On Tourism and Rural Development

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.

~Mark Twain

World Tourism Day- History and background 

On 27th September 1970 the Statutes of the UNWTO (World Tourism Organisation) were adopted which are considered a milestone in global tourism. UNWTO celebrated the first World Tourism Day as an international observance on September 27, 1980. Since then World Tourism Day is commemorated each year on 27 September. Its purpose is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. Each year different theme is highlighted bringing it to the focus of the entire world.

Focus area for 2020

The theme for World Tourism Day 2020 is “Tourism and Rural Development” as countries across the world depend on the sector to drive recovery. This year’s WTD comes at a critical moment, as countries around the world look to tourism to drive recovery, including in rural communities where the sector is a leading employer and economic pillar providing jobs and opportunity, most notably for women and youth. Development through tourism can also keep rural communities alive.

WTD 2020 will once again be celebrated by UNWTO’s Member States in all global regions as well as by cities and other destinations, by private sector organizations and individual tourists. For the first time in the 40-year history of World Tourism Day, the official celebration will not be hosted by a single Member State of the United Nations specialized agency.

Through its social, cultural, political and economic value, the tourism sector contributes to the sustainable development goals. It can also help advance global cooperation beyond the pandemic in current times by bringing people together and promoting solidarity, trust and cooperation.  In current times, it is important to raise awareness about the tourism sector given that 90% of World Heritages Sites are closed due to the pandemic and young people in rural communities are three times more likely to be unemployed. However, domestic tourism is expected to return before international tourism, as per UNWTO foresight. This will not only benefit rural communities but also revive the economy to some extent. This years focus is aptly on tourism and rural development.

The way forward 

Nothing is permanent and so is the pandemic, with countries opening up the travel and hospitality sector will also see a surge in tourist arrivals and hotel occupancies. This sector has been the largest employer worldwide. Many jobs have been impacted but with the number of tourist arrivals they will be revived. Hospitality and tourism professionals will be in demand, they also have high probability of getting into entrepreneurship, starting their own ventures.

For Students and Professionals

As a student counsellor I suggest the IATA Canada diploma to students; a 6 month program that has great employability. Its a value added, enhanced competency when done along with BSc Hospitality Studies. It is equally good for graduates and working individuals who want to earn a professional diploma that has good employability and future work prospects.

IATA foundation course in Travel & Tourism offered at the Apeejay Institute of Hospitality.

Apeejay Institute of Hospitality (AIH), an initiative of the Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels Ltd. became the IATA authorized training centre in Navi Mumbai on 6th January 2014. AIH offers the IATA Foundation Course in Travel and Tourism. It’s a six months program and the learning hours at the institute are 6 hours per week. The batches are both weekdays as well as weekends so that students from other discipline and professionals can also take up the course. The eligibility for the programme is 10 + 2 / Under graduate / Graduate in any discipline. On successful completion of the programme, the candidates will be awarded the International Certification from IATA, Canada.

AIH offers excellent placements through campus interviews in international and domestic airlines, airport operations, travel agencies, tourism organizations, travel portals, airline back offices, hospitality and many more.

The travel and tourism industry employs more than 200 million individuals worldwide, (source: IATA) in such diverse areas as travel sales, ticketing, hotel guest services and administration, nature reserve guides, cruise ship marketing, group sales, tour operations, packaging, niche as well as specialty travel sales and attraction management among others. Responsible travel and tourism aims to bridge cultural differences, fostering an environment which enriches our lives through the bringing together of people for leisure, family get togethers, business and educational purposes.

On successful completion of the program, the candidates  acquire the knowledge and skill sets to work in an ever growing industry that contributes to making the world a global village. The international Travel and Tourism industry is expected to grow more than double in size in next decade.

The IATA Foundation course in Travel and Tourism is a comprehensive course to begin a career in travel and tourism industry. It is a global qualification that certifies that the candidate has achieved a certain level of professional competence.  Learn industry terms and codes, products, services, international air fare pricing and e- ticketing. Facilities include air-conditioned class rooms, Audio Visual aids, access to library, internet lab and well equipped computer lab for GDS. The institute has full time IATA qualified and experienced faculty.

Course delivery during the lockdown

Its a 3 day a week program where the students attended classes on campus but due to lockdown, classes are being conducted online and so is the assessment and exams. This arrangement is working well and will be implemented till the college campus is open for the students.

For further details connect with AIH at

or write to

Apeejay Institute of Hospitality
No.1, Sector-10, C.B.D. Belapur, Navi Mumbai – 400 614, India

Ph. 022 2758 9050 Whatsapp Nos. (anytime messaging) 982073 7297 / 98926 96326

Email :

PS: Pictures are taken from Google with due credits, Info: data source UNWTO


Dr. Laxmi Todiwan
Dr. Laxmi Todiwan
Founder Indian Women in Hospitality. She is a Professor, Corporate Trainer, Motivational Speaker and a Blogger. A multiple award winning hospitality professional with a career spanning over two decades; people engagement, training and development are close to her heart. She writes for hospitality journals, online platforms and columns in the local newspapers. Married to a Master Mariner she loves to write on the maritime industry as well as the lives and relationships of the fraternity. She expresses her thoughts on her blog and website,

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