On 27th September 1970, the statutes of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) were adopted. Five years later, these statues, considered a milestone in global tourism, paved the way for the establishment of the UNWTO. The UNWTO celebrated the first World Tourism Day on 27 September, 1980, to mark the occasion of its establishment. Ever since then, the day has been marked across the world. The day is celebrated annually to raise awareness about the significance of tourism and how it affects social, political, cultural, and economic values globally.

'World Tourism Day' remains significant as the sector employs one in every ten people on the earth, according to United Nations .For some nations, the sector represents over one- fifth of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). During the pandemic, 90% of world heritage sites were closed and millions, who were dependent on tourism for their livelihood, left unemployed. The UNWTO said it would make efforts to "celebrate tourism's unique ability to ensure that nobody is left behind as the world begins to open up again and look to the future". The theme of 2021 World Tourism Day is "Tourism for inclusive Growth," focussing on growth and recovery.

The late Ignatius Amaduwa Atigbi, a Nigerian national, was the one who proposed the idea of marking September 27 of every year as World Tourism Day. He was finally recognized for his contribution in 2009. The colour of World Tourism Day is blue.

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