World Tourism Day is celebrated around the world on 27 September. Each year the event is centred around a theme, and in 2018 this will be Tourism and the Digital Transformation. An official celebration will be held by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Budapest later this year.

The UN looks at this as a way of showing the importance of tourism along with its social, cultural, political and economic value. It is an opportunity to raise awareness on tourism-related issues, such as sustainable tourism. This year World Tourism Day will look at how innovation and digital transformation can play a vital role in the sustainable growth of tourism.

The official celebration will be held in Budapest, HungaryBudapest, which is currently experiencing a great surge in tourism, will host the celebration. It will look at digital and technological advances, such as artificial intelligence, big data, and digital platforms, and how they affect tourism.

World Tourism Day to focus on digital innovation

According to UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, “Harnessing innovation and digital advances provides tourism with opportunities to improve inclusiveness, local community empowerment and efficient resource management, amongst other objectives within the wider sustainable development agenda”.

World Tourism DayThe celebration in Budapest will also have the announcement of the semi-finalists of the first UNWTO Tourism Startup Competition. Held by the UNWTO in partnership with Globalia, a major tourism group in Ibero-America, it will provide an opportunity for start-ups to provide innovative new ideas about how we travel and enjoy tourism.

In 2017, World Tourism Day was held in Qatar. These celebrations looked at the importance of sustainable tourism for development.

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