Year-round Festival Series 34 – World Travel Day – To the ends of the earth
The Icelandic aurora borealis, the evening sunsets on London Bridge in the UK, the friendliness of the inhabitants of Taiwan’s small islands, the glowing sunset over the Grand Canyon in the US, the turquoise of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the craggy cliffs of the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, the autumnal forests of Canada’s Rocky Mountains, the simplicity and magnificence of Egypt’s pyramids, the glittering lights of the city of Venice, and the glamour and splendour of Paris… the world’s beautiful landscapes are endless, and travelling not only provides a break from the world’s problems, but also increases One’s cultural experience: within one’s own culture, one begins to accept and appreciate the local characteristics of others, and to marvel at the Creator’s creation.
The UNWTO is investing in the recovery and future growth of tourism. According to UNWTO, the global tourism workforce will require millions of hospitality graduates annually by 2030.
Since the onset of Covid-19 pandemic, the world’s tourism industry has been hard hit by the fact that planes are no longer taking off, hotels are closing down, and there are travel restrictions in every country in the world. In Asia, for example, in the Maldives, Macau and Samoa, and in Africa, in the Guemo Islands, tourism was an important source of export revenue.
However, with the passing of the Covid-19 pandemic, the tourism industry is gradually recovering and rethinking the direction of investment in tourism.
World Travel Day is celebrated on 27 September every year and is set by the United Nations Office of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). This year’s World Travel Day is a two-day international conference in Saudi Arabia. The theme of this year is Tourism and Green Investment. This theme is very relevant to the difficulties faced by today’s generation. Extreme weather affects many different tourist destinations and the survival of the local population.
For the sake of people, the planet and prosperity, governments and private organisations need to invest more in traditional and non-traditional investments, such as education, to provide people with employment opportunities and to accelerate response to climate change. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2023, climate emergencies are the most pressing challenge for the next 10 years.
Hotel investment is one of the largest components of traditional investment, and the Covid-19 pandemic is fuelling green building opportunities, with global hotel investment growing by 131 per cent year-on-year to reach US$66.8 billion by 2021. The tourism industry is facing a changing environment, and the promotion of sustainable green tourism is not only for the sake of the planet, but also for today’s travellers who are looking for “in-depth travel”.
In-depth travel means that travellers are willing to take the time to learn about the history, culture, customs, geography, architecture and culture of a place, as well as to experience its people. This kind of “in-depth travel”, which is an in-depth experience of the local culture, also indirectly promotes cultural conservation, as well as thinking about how to treasure the local customs and culture, so that they will not be destroyed by modern trends, technological development and over-exploitation.
Off-the-beaten-track, in-depth travelling is especially suitable for cities in countries that you have visited many times. After seeing all the mainstream cultural attractions, the journey becomes a surprise when you go off the beaten track!
✍🏼 Write + Create
◢ Elva Lai enjoys creating art, reading, travelling, hiking and making a cup of coffee in the morning. She received her education in Singapore, the United States, Germany and Hong Kong.
Authorised for re-posting. Opinions are solely those of the author.
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