Barbados will join the rest of the world in commemorating the 30th anniversary of World Tourism Day (WTD) on Sunday, September 27.

In recognition of the day, the WTD Committee, comprising representatives from the Ministry of Tourism, Barbados Tourism Authority and Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, will undertake a number of activities.

The day will be marked first by a Bajan Pride Exposition, planned for Saturday, September 26, in Independence Square, Bridgetown, from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. This will showcase local arts and craft, as well as food. ??In addition, the Home Associations of Jamaica, St. Lucia, Grenada and the host country for WTD Celebrations, Ghana, will offer a variety of foods from their territories.

An entertainment package, highlighting diversity as it relates to our Barbadian culture and keeping with the theme for WTD 2009 "Tourism – Celebrating Diversity", will also form part of the exposition. This theme highlights the year’s theme highlights the varied environment which has been at the very centre of tourism for centuries.?? It recognises that a wide array of local customs co-exist all over the world, including languages, religions, architecture, food, politics or natural environments and that this diversity has allowed the travel and tourism industry to thrive and become the largest single export industry and a leading force in the service sector.??

On Sunday, September 27, Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy, will issue a commemorative message in the print media and there will be a scenic bus ride in collaboration with the WTD Committee and the Barbados Transport Board. It will take Barbadians and tourists alike to Bathsheba, St. John’s Parish Church (where they will be a treasure hunt), and Silver Sands. Buses will leave the Fairchild Street terminal at 2:00 p.m. Tickets for the event are available from the Transport Board bus terminals in the City.

There will also be interviews in the media with top tourism officials.

Each year, the organisations of the United Nations (UN) System, celebrate world days devoted to the UN – world peace, human rights, health, literacy, etc.?? At its third session in Spain of September 1979, the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organisation decided to institute, commencing in 1980, a world day to celebrate tourism.

The timing of WTD is considered appropriate, since it comes at the end of the high season in the northern hemisphere and the beginning of the season in the southern hemisphere, when tourism is of topical interest to people worldwide.

A key aim of World Tourism Day is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic values. This year, the focus will be on the world’s cultural wealth and the important role sustainable tourism plays in revitalising local traditions and making them flourish as they cross cultures.

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