27 September - World Tourism Day 2016
‘Tourism for All – Promoting Universal Accessibility’
Tourism for all: people with disabilities, senior citizens and families travelling with small children, and sooner or later all citizens will appreciate the advantages of universal accessibility. This is why UNWTO has chosen to celebrate World Tourism Day 2016 on the theme of accessible tourism. Thailand is the host venue of the official World Tourism Day, which this year celebrates its 36th year.
For the last quarter–century World Tourism Day, held annually on 27 September, has aimed to foster awareness of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic impact. This year’s theme is ‘Tourism for All – Promoting Universal Accessibility’.
Reaching universal accessibility in tourism is a shared responsibility of all parties involved in the tourism value chain, as well as a business opportunity for companies and destinations.
“Everyone has the right to access leisure and tourism services on an equal basis. Yet 1 billion people around the world living with disability, along with young children, seniors and persons with other access requirements, still face obstacles in accessing fundamentals of travel such as clear and reliable information, efficient transportation and public services, and a physical environment that is easy to navigate. Even with modern technologies, those with visual, hearing, mobility or cognitive impairments are being left behind in many tourism destinations.” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in his official message.
“All of the world’s citizens have the right to experience the incredible diversity this planet has to offer. Therefore, it is highly important that all countries and destinations, as well as the industry, promote accessibility for all in the physical environment, in transport systems, in public facilities and services and in information and communications channels”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.
“This year's theme, ‘Tourism for All – Promoting Universal Accessibility’, is a challenge for Thailand and the world to recognize the necessity of accessibility in tourism and to accommodate everyone anywhere they may travel to (…) We have to understand the theory of Universal Design (…) As the world of travel and tourism is an expanding industry and the number of travelers increases every year, we have to ensure that travelling the world has to is as safe and seamless as possible,” explained Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports of Thailand.