“It is most fitting that Egypt, home to some of the world’s most celebrated cultural heritage and a leading tourism destination, be the host country for the official celebrations of World Tourism Day 2011,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, announcing the news.
Egypt is world famous for its rich history and vibrant culture which draw millions of tourists to the country each year. It is precisely this interaction between the peoples and cultures of the world, driven by tourism, that is at the heart of the WTD 2011 theme: Tourism – Linking Cultures.
“We are very honored to be hosting the official celebrations of World Tourism Day 2011 in Egypt. Tourism is one of the most important sectors of our society, representing 12% of our GDP in 2010 and responsible for one in every seven jobs. World Tourism Day is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness around the world of this vital economic sector and its contribution to social, economic and environmental well-being worldwide and in Egypt in particular,” said the Minister of Tourism of Egypt, Mounir Fakhri Abdel-Nour.
Planned WTD activities in Aswan include a High-Level Think Tank on the 2011 theme, at which leading public and private tourism stakeholders, academia and the media will address the role of tourism in building understanding, respect and tolerance worldwide.
WTD activities running throughout the year include the annual WTD Photo Competition, which offers a round-trip to Egypt as first prize. UNWTO has also launched the first ever WTD Twitter Competition, asking people to ‘tweet’ about how they consider tourism to link cultures. Winning entries will appear on the official programme handed out during the celebrations in Aswan.