This year’s World Tourism Day is centred around the theme of ‘Tourism For All’ promoting the importance of tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value among the international community.
As the seasons change across the world, world tourism is on the minds of many. 2016’s World Tourism Day coincides with a crucial time for the UK, and is a timely moment to reflect on its place both at home and as part of the wider international community.
The British Hospitality Association (BHA) campaigns vigorously to promote UK's hospitality and tourism industry. Today's an important day to reflect on our work and its place in global tourism, as well as to celebrate the tourism industry at home and abroad.
The UK and beyond
The smiling barista who greets you in the mornings? The hotel receptionist who booked your taxi for you? The tourism industry, and its many benefits, is all around us, sustaining our economy and giving us all that feel-good feeling that you only get with quality service.
Celebrating World Tourism Day means acknowledging our appreciation of the value that tourism brings to the UK, and around the world.
At home, this can translate as improving visa policies, lobbying for deregulation and protecting the 1 in 5 jobs that tourism creates; all of which are crucially relevant BHA campaigns.
The campaign to Cut Tourism VAT in particular demands of the Government the initiatives which would allow the UK to be more competitive internationally.
On a global level, this means celebrating the creation of environments that sustain tourism whether we are travelling away or enjoying a staycation. Accessible Tourism celebrates the world's diversity, and the benefits it brings to the whole world.
It also means celebrating employees in the tourism industry and taking a moment to acknowledge and thank them for their work.
Tourism is changing
Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association, has said:
“I do think there is a big gap in understanding that serving others is a very honourable thing to do and in other countries there’s a stronger understanding of the link between service and being an ambassador for a country.”
Arguably, being an ambassador for your country is a rewarding and fulfilling career choice. A recent YouGov survey supports the notion of tourism as a rewarding industry, with recent findings showing that hospitality sector employees are among the happiest.
With outdated attitudes to the tourism and hospitality industry changing, it's time to recognise the hard work and devotion of those who work tirelessly both serving us, and representing us.
It's time to celebrate each and every one of the world’s country ambassadors. Today, and every day, the BHA is campaigning to support the UK's hospitality and tourism industry, the connections it facilitates and the wealth it generates, all around the world.
Tourism matters because it brings together people and countries in a unique way that other industries don't. It opens minds, connects hearts and expands horizons.
How are you celebrating today?
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