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Respect nature, culture and your host: World Tourism Organization chief Rifai on World Tourism Day
The UN has declared the year 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, since tourism can contribute to all the three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental – and each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

According to the UN, World Tourism Day 2017, September 27, presents a unique opportunity to raise awareness on the contribution of sustainable tourism to development.

In his Official Messages on World Tourism Day, Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), said that we needed to make full use of tourism as 'powerful global transformative force' and 'contribute to make this world a better place and to advance sustainable development'.

"This World Tourism Day, whenever you travel, wherever you travel, remember to respect nature; respect culture; and respect your host," he urged and gave the call to travel, enjoy and respect.

According to Rifai, modern tourism has 5 pillars such as economic which yields inclusive growth; social which brings decent jobs and empowers communities; environmental which preserves and enriches the environment and addresses climate change; cultural which celebrates and preserves diversity, identity, and tangible and intangible culture; and peace which is an essential prerequisite for development and progress.

It is stated by the UN that tourism is currently the 3rd largest export industry in the world after chemicals and fuel that brings hope, prosperity and understanding to so many lives and livelihoods all over the world.

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