This year’s World Tourism Day (WTD) is to highlight the significant role world tourism has in water conservation, it was announced this week.
Hosted in the Maldives on September 27th, it is hoped that 2013’s WTD will underline the importance of the tourism industry preserving vital water resources.
It is being run in line with the UN’s continuing commitment to sustainable water, with 2013 the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation.
With over one billion people travelling internationally each year, it is thought that tourism could play an important role in changing behaviours and raising awareness.
Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary-General, said he urged the tourism sector to get involved by devising “innovative solutions to ensure sustainable access to water.”
He added: “As one of the largest economic sectors in the world, it is the responsibility of the tourism sector to take a leadership role and ensure companies and destinations invest in adequate water management throughout the value chain.
“If managed sustainably, tourism can bring benefits to the national and local communities and support water preservation.”
World Tourism Day will examine the challenges facing water management in tourism and the measures being undertaken to protect and promote water resources.
Clean, accessible water is vital to tourism, running most of the sector’s businesses, from hotels and restaurants to leisure facilities and transportation.