About the theme: Tourism - Linking Cultures


“In a global environment marked by rising intolerance and crosscultural tensions, often exacerbated by the economic divide between nations, tourism can foster spiritual and cultural respect among and between peoples, while creating economic opportunities to benefit disadvantaged populations”    

UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon


Tourism is not merely an economic and commercial activity, but one of the world’s principal instruments for human interaction. With a record 940 million international tourist arrivals in 2010, never before have so many people travelled so widely, nor come into contact with such a diverse range of cultures.

What are the global implications of this constant and ever growing interaction?

According to the United Nations Declaration on a Culture of Peace, the development of a culture of peace is integrally linked to “advancing understanding, tolerance and solidarity among all civilizations, peoples and cultures”. Surely tourism, an activity with intercultural dialogue and exchange at its very core, should be highlighted in this regard. Tourism is based on interaction, interaction prompts dialogue and dialogue builds mutual understanding and peace.   

World Tourism Day 2011 is being celebrated under the theme ‘Tourism – Linking Cultures’. As the most widely celebrated global day for tourism, it represents an opportunity to address how tourism can help build tolerance and understanding worldwide by serving as a catalyst for communication and exchange between the different cultures of the world.

Egypt, the cradle of one of the world’s earliest civilizations, provides the ideal setting to discuss the 2011 theme. For thousands of years, successive cultures have travelled across Egypt, resulting in a vibrant and rich heritage that attracts millions of tourists. It is this process of coming together through travel that is at the very heart of the 2011 World Tourism Day celebrations.   


Further reading:



Global Code of Ethics     
         for Tourism
 The Responsible Tourist and Traveller             International Conference on
Tourism, Religions and Dialogue
of Cultures