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Take a trip in September

When: September 27

What: Travel can mean many things to a person – from a relaxing trip to an exotic or tropical location, to educational forays in lands near and far. Because September marks the end of the high travel season in the northern hemisphere and the beginning of the season in the southern hemisphere, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) works to boost the importance of tourism and world travel during this time. So take a trip and on Sept. 27, recognize World Tourism Day.

Background: The UNWTO began celebrating World Tourism Day on Sept. 27, 1980, choosing this particular day to coincide with the anniversary of the adoption of the UNWTO Statutes in 1970 , which detailed the organization’s dedication to the promotion and development of tourism . The holiday provides UNWTO with a platform to foster awareness on the importance of tourism and its social, cultural and economic value. This year’s theme is linking cultures through travel.

Story Pitch: At a time when the focus on international travel is high, many groups and organizations can campaign around World Tourism Day. Travel and tourism councils and committees can use the holiday to promote international travel and cultural education. Travel agencies can take advantage of the day by providing travelers with tips on how to travel safely and smartly. Meanwhile, the cultural importance of World Tourism Day is not something to be forgotten. Cultural awareness organizations, specifically on college campuses, can use the holiday to stress the importance of a good cultural education through culture fairs or presentations. Schools can also share with students opportunities for study abroad trips and exchange programs. In addition, retailers can promote purchasing travel necessities.

Story Hook: In 2010, 940 million people travelled internationally, a 7 percent increase from the previous year. Will 2011 see another increase in international travel? How has domestic travel fared in the last couple of years? Consider these questions when making your pitch:

  • What are the most popular destinations? What are some of the most obscure?
  • How can culture and travel be cross-promoted?
  • What draws people to travel?
  • Why are some drawn to adventure travel while others would rather relax on the beach?
  • What are some ways to stay safe when traveling internationally?

Tips: Provide contact information for travel experts who can talk about the latest travel safety tips. A travel enthusiast is also a great contact who can discuss the excitement and cultural implications travel has had on their lives.

Resources:

National Tour Association
(859) 264-6540
www.ntaonline.com

Travel and Tourism Research Association
(248) 708-8872
info(at)ttra.com
www.ttra.com

United Nations Foundation
(202) 887-9040
www.unfoundation.org

United Nations World Tourism Organization
omt(at)unwto.org
http://unwto.org

U.S.
Travel Association
(202) 408-8422
meetings(at)ustravel.org
www.ustravel.org

–Researched, compiled & written by Kimberly Cooper
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