World Tourism Day – 27 September

In support of United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation, World Tourism Day (WTD) on 27 September 2013 is being held under the theme Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future.


This year’s theme highlights tourism’s role in water access and shines a spotlight on the actions currently being taken by the sector in order to contribute to a more sustainable water future, as well as the challenges ahead.

Official WTD celebrations will take place in The Maldives on September 27, but UNWTO will be addressing the many links between tourism and water all year.

Photo Competition

UNWTO has launched a 2013 World Tourism Day Photo Competition under the theme “Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future” and participants stand the chance of winning a digital camera, and promoting their tourism destination, product or attraction.

What kind of photos are WTO looking for?

To tie-in with the theme, images must reflect the importance of water to the tourism sector, and tourism’s role in achieving a more sustainable water future. Pictures must capture one or several of the following aspects:

  • How the tourism sector is implementing new ideas to decrease water consumption and pollution in its operations
  • How tourism is improving access to clean freshwater and/or strengthening water management in local communities
  • How you, as a tourist, are taking concrete actions towards a more sustainable water future
  • How tourism is working to help the preservation of water destinations (coastal areas, lakes, rivers, etc)
  • The great diversity of water destinations around the world and their importance for tourism.

Photo Competition Link: (You have to create an account or log in to participate).

Don’t forget to comment under this article on the Tourism Tattler website at (URL Short Link) to share what you will be doing to celebrate Tourism Month.


Suggested World Tourism Day Activities

Be an informed traveler

What better way to celebrate WTD 2013 than enjoying being a tourist yourself? WTD is the perfect time to reflect upon your responsibilities and impact as a traveler and commit to a more sustainable water future.

Simple steps such as taking a shower instead of a bath, or choosing not to have your bed linen and towels changed and washed every day can make a huge difference and will avoid unnecessary use of water and chemicals.

Try to know if your destination faces water and electricity power shortage. Your long shower could mean lack of water to local community. If possible, select accommodations with efficient equipment that allow for the rational use of water.

Respect the sites you visit, do not litter or take home souvenirs such as shells from the natural environment. At the beach, use water-resistant sun block to avoid polluting the sea and damaging marine fauna. Report any incident or irregularity you have observed. You are part of the process of environmental, social and economic improvement of the destination.

Wherever you choose to go, remember to read the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism before you leave to make sure your trip is as sustainable and responsible as possible.

Launch a competition

A competition – essays, paintings, videos – on tourism and water is a fun and simple way to get involved in World Tourism Day. UNWTO will be running three of its own competitions throughout the year, the WTD Photo Competition, the WTD Twitter Competition, and the WTD Essay Competition.

Hold an event

The relationship between tourism and water is complex, but it is also one of the most exciting areas of research and action in the tourism sector. Conferences, seminars or academic presentations on the 2013 theme will help shed light on the water initiatives already in place in the tourism sector, and communicate what more can be done.

Above all, World Tourism Day is a celebration. So concerts, festivals, shows and parades are a great way to take part. The official WTD celebrations, including the Think Tank on the 2013 theme with the participation of top experts in the field of tourism and water, will be streamed live on the WTD website.

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