Tourism and water: protecting our common future


In line with the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation, World Tourism Day 2013 is being held under the theme Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future. This year’s theme highlights tourism’s role in water access and shines a spotlight on the actions being taken by the sector in order to contribute to a more sustainable water future, as well as the challenges ahead. As a trillion dollar economic sector, tourism is a powerful force capable of tackling these challenges by offering effective solutions geared towards a more sustainable water future. With over one billion people traveling internationally each year, tourism can be an important vehicle of raising awareness and changing behaviors.

WTD 2013 official celebrations on September 27 will be hosted by the Maldives.

For the full program of WTD in the Maldives please go to:

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Message by Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General

“With unsustainable consumption and climate change threatening global water resources, this year’s World Tourism Day highlights the responsibility of the tourism industry to safeguard and intelligently manage water. In this International Year of Water Cooperation, I urge tourism establishments to cut consumption and improve waste management and I call on individuals to play their part by making environmentally conscious choices when they travel. By making water saving a priority we can all help to build the future we want.”

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Message by Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary-General

“Water is one of tourism’s main assets. Each year, millions of people travel around the world to enjoy water destinations both inland and in coastal areas. Water is also one of tourism’s most precious resources. Water powers all tourism industries, from hotels to restaurants, leisure activities and transport. As one of the largest economic sectors in the world, it is the responsibility of the tourism sector to take a leadership role and ensure companies and destinations invest in adequate water management throughout the value chain. If managed sustainably, tourism can bring benefits to the national and local communities and support water preservation.”
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