World Tourism Day has always been a chance to come together and celebrate the many and varied accomplishments of our sector. For the best part of four decades, we celebrated tourism’s unparalleled growth – in size, in reach and in significance.

In 2022, we once again recognize the opportunities that tourism has brought – and continues to bring – people everywhere. However, this year especially we also recognize that we cannot go back to the old ways of working. We must Rethink Tourism.

As the world opens up again, we must learn the lessons of the pandemic and the associated pause in international travel. In exposing weaknesses, the crisis showed us where we can build more resilience. And in exposing inequalities, it also showed us where we can deliver more fairness.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, along with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, remains our end goal. However, every part of the sector, from UNWTO and governments at the top down to destinations and small businesses at the bottom, must rethink how we get there. This will require restructuring business models so that they put people first. Tourism has always worked for young people, for women and for communities. But now it must truly work with them as well. We need new voices as well as new ideas if we are to transform our sector and build a better tourism for all.

Rethinking one of the world’s major economic sectors will not be easy. But we are already well on the way. Crisis has inspired and catalysed creativity. And the pandemic accelerated the transformation of work, bringing both challenges as well as enormous opportunities to ensure even more people get to benefit from tourism’s restart. We are also making significant progress in making tourism a central driver of the green, the blue and the digital economies, ensuring growth does not come at the expense of people or planet.

We are only just getting started. The potential of tourism is enormous, and we have a shared responsibility to make sure it is fully realized. On World Tourism Day 2022, UNWTO calls on both tourism leaders and everyone at the base of the broad and diverse tourism pyramid to pause, reflect and rethink what we do and how we do it. The future of tourism starts today.

Secretary-General, UNWTO

Concept Note

World Tourism Day returns to focus on the future. As the sector’s recovery gets underway and building on unprecedented political and public recognition for the sector, UNWTO will highlight the opportunity to rethink how we do tourism. This means putting people and planet first and bringing everyone from governments and businesses to local communities together around a shared vision for a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient sector.


International tourist arrivals at the start of this year were double the level recorded in 2021. In some regions, arrivals are already at, or even above, pre-pandemic levels. The lifting of the remaining travel restrictions, alongside rising consumer confidence, will be important drivers for the sector’s recovery, bringing hope and opportunity to many millions of people around the world.

World Tourism Day will be celebrated as the shift towards tourism being recognized as a crucial pillar of development and progress is well underway. May 2022 marked the first time the United Nations General Assembly held a special debate on tourism, illustrating the historic relevance of the sector. Tourism is now on the agenda of governments and of international organizations in every global region. At the same time, destinations and businesses are proactively adapting to meet challenges and responsibilities, as illustrated by the wave of signatories to the Glasgow Declaration on Climate Action in Tourism, spearheaded by UNWTO.

The theme “Rethinking Tourism” will reflect this. It aims to inspire the debate around rethinking tourism for development, including through education and jobs, and tourism’s impact on the planet and opportunities to grow more sustainably.


For its 42nd edition, World Tourism Day will be hosted by Indonesia, in Bali, a destination at the forefront of reimagining tourism as a pillar of sustainable development.

Tourism’s International Observance Day will put people at the centre of key discussions. Where is tourism going? Where do we want to go? And how do we get there? The one-day celebration will bring together stakeholders from every part of tourism’s uniquely broad value chain – from political and private sector leaders to community representatives, and youth and indigenous ambassadors.

The event will develop around a multi-stakeholder panel discussion on “Rethinking Tourism as a Key Element of Recovery”, as well as a discussion on “The Tourism We Want”, led by local representatives from across Bali’s tourism sector. UNWTO’s Member States will be invited to amplify the celebrations and key messages, while UNWTO will also promote the event and its central theme of rethinking tourism through its channels and partners.

Objectives and Intended Outputs

World Tourism Day 2022 will:

• Provide a platform for inclusive dialogue to identify solutions to realize tourism’s potential as a vehicle for recovery and transformation.

• Amplify the message of tourism as an inspirational and transformational force, and the role of UNWTO and the whole of the sector in fulfilling this potential.

• Mobilize political will and cooperation to ensure tourism is a central part of policymaking.

• Ask big questions and identify solutions to realign tourism for the future.


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