World Tourism Day 2020 highlights tourism and rural development

Published: 24.9.2020

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World Tourism Day 2020 highlights tourism and rural development

World Tourism Day 2020 celebrates the sector’s unique ability to drive economic development and provide opportunities outside of big cities. We share the thoughts of the Minister of Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek.

World Tourism Day 2020 highlights tourism and rural development

September 27 is a day dedicated to the celebration of tourism around the world. Every year, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) chooses a special theme that intertwines the activities of national tourism organizations and other stakeholders who actively celebrate this day. This year's theme of World Tourism Day is "Tourism and Rural Development".

Message from Minister Zdravko Počivalšek on the occasion of the World Tourism Day 2020 "Tourism and Rural Development"

This year's World Tourism Day is celebrated with mixed feelings, with a hint of uncertainty and expectations, but also with a handful of positive energy and determination to cope with the challenges posed by the pandemic, which caused the devastating tourist eclipse.

2020 is one of the most demanding years in tourism on a global level. In the light of the current affairs, when international tourism is dealing with great losses, the UNWTO decided to dedicate World Tourism Day to the theme "Tourism and Rural Development". And rightfully so.

This year, our awareness about the importance of health and safety and our attitude towards spending free time has changed completely. We are becoming aware of the importance of sustainable tourism development and the preservation of natural heritage. We are in search holidays in an authentic, green environment, and more than ever we value peace and intimacy.

Tourism highly intertwines with rural development, as it is one of the driving forces for preserving natural and cultural heritage. At times when we are avoiding mass visits to tourist attractions and world-famous tourism icons, discovering the attractive offer of the countryside is at the forefront. Where else could one find such a tailored and boutique offer as in the countryside? Another asset locally grown food and acquaintance with tradition. In Slovenia, we promote 5-star tourist experiences and I am convinced that many of them can be found in the countryside.

Slovenia is the holder of the prestigious title "European Gastronomic Region 2021", in which the agricultural and tourism sectors work closely together. Within this project, a number of activities will be carried out that emphasize the importance of rural areas for tourism and the importance of tourism for rural development. This year's theme of the World Tourism Day is therefore perfect for Slovenia.

The situation we are currently in must not take away our courage. We must be brave in facing the challenges of the future. Luck is on the side of those, who opted for healthy, sustainable and comprehensively responsible way of operating and doing business. Slovenian tourism certainly is.

The world sees Slovenia as a synonym for a green mindset. In the times to come, this is not only a comparative but also a decisive advantage. Let's take this advantage and be the leader in setting new standards for safe leisure and safe tourist services and products.

I wish all co-creators of Slovenian tourism a happy World Tourism Day.

The UNWTO emphasizes that rural tourism has an important role to play in preserving and promoting the natural environment, culture and heritage around the world. ”Tourism has proven to be a lifeline for many rural communities. However, its true force still needs to be fully deployed. The sector is not just a leading source of employment, particularly for women and youth. It also provides opportunities for territorial cohesion and socio-economic inclusion for the most vulnerable regions. Tourism helps rural communities hold onto their unique natural and cultural heritage, supporting conservation projects, including those safeguarding endangered species, lost traditions or flavours,” said Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General.

You can read the full message in English at the following link.

The theme of this year's World Tourism Day highlights rural development through education, investment, innovation and technology, which could improve the chances of survival of millions and preserve our environment and culture. Tourism, as the sector that brings together the most areas, contributes directly or indirectly to all the goals of sustainable development.

At the end of the message, the WNTO wrote: "As the ultimate cross-cutting sector, tourism contributes directly or indirectly to all of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)."

Slovenian tourism providers and destinations are preparing a number of interesting events on the occasion of World Tourism Day.

We wish you a happy World Tourism Day!

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