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World Tourism Day is celebrated each year on September 27. Its purpose is to spread awareness about the importance of tourism and its impacts.

Inaugurated in 1979 after the suggestions of Nigerian national Ignatius Amaduwa Atigbi, The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) declared September 27, World Tourism Day. It was fully recognized and celebrated beginning in 1980. 

As a specialized agency of the United Nations, its purpose is to guide the global sector towards inclusive recovery and growth. UNWTO works to ensure every part of the sector has a say in its future- including communities, minorities, youth, and those who would otherwise be at risk of being left behind. 

At its 12th session in Istanbul, Turkey, in October 1997, the UNWTO General Assembly decided to designate a host country each year to act as the organization’s partner in celebrating World Tourism Day.  And yes, even World Tourism Day has a color!  It is blue. 

Estimates currently show the impact of COVID-19 on tourism will cost the world economy $4 trillion. Tourist experts don’t expect a return to pre-COVID arrival levels until 2023 or later.