The ceremony had the attendances of Mr. Taleb Rifai - Secretary General of UNWTO, Mr. Rashed Khan Menon - Bangladesh Minister of Civil Aviation and Tourism, Mr. Abu Jahed Mohammad Nasir Uddin - Mayor of Chittagong City, and delegates from UNWTO’s member countries, tourism and aviation businesses, international organizations, etc. The Vietnamese delegation is led by Mr. Le Tuan Anh, Deputy Director of Department of International Cooperation (under Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism).
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Taleb Rifai - Secretary General of UNWTO highlighted the role of tourism human resource around the world who making the effort to contribute to the tourism development. Mr. Taleb Rifai emphasized, despite facing many challenges, the world tourism is incessantly growing. In 2016, international visitors all over the world amount to more than 1.2 billion arrivals, increasing of nearly 4% over 2015, marking the seventh consecutive growth year of world tourism. The growth rate of the tourism industry is higher than many other economic industries, contributing about 10% of global GDP, 30% of trade and service value. Nowadays, tourism has become the third largest economic industry in the world. Increasing influence also gives tourism the greater status and responsibility, requires responsible behavior, leads to more sustainable tourism development, mitigates potential negative impacts.
With the message “Travel - Enjoy – Respect”, Mr. Taleb Rifai called everyone to travel to enhance experience for themselves; take effort to overcome difficulties, enjoy the positive values of life; at the same time respect the diversity and different in culture and society at each destination.
This ceremony is part of a series of activities celebrating International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017 organized by UNWTO. The theme of International Year 2017 was unanimously approved by the United Nations General Assembly and officially launched by UNWTO in Madrid, Spain in January 2017.