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Countdown to World Tourism Day

Countdown to World Tourism Day

With just a few days to go until World Tourism Day (September 27), the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has announced the five photos and five “tweets” from among the hundreds of entries submitted to the 2011 World Tourism Day (WTD) competitions that best reflect the 2011 theme, “Tourism – Linking Cultures.”

The winning photos, featuring Korean women celebrating India’s Holi festival and a young tourist backstage at the Chinese Opera Theater, alongside a selection of finalists, will be displayed as part of a photo exhibition in Aswan, Egypt, the host of the official WTD celebrations, while the tweets will appear on all WTD promotional materials.

“It is extraordinary how a simple photo, or just 140 characters, can highlight what makes our sector so special: its ability to link the cultures of the world,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, “We are very encouraged to see the level of participation from all around the world in these competitions. The winning entries clearly show how the millions of people traveling each day are coming into contact in ways previously unimagined.”

The winners were announced ahead of the official celebrations on September 27, at which tourism thinkers and sector leaders will meet in Aswan, Egypt, to debate tourism’s role in linking cultures and fostering dialogue, mutual understanding, respect, and peace.

Speakers at the WTD Think Tank include the Minister of Tourism of Egypt, Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Nour; the Minister of Tourism of Greece, Pavlos Yeroulanos; the Chief Executive of TUI, Michael Frenzel; UNESCO’s tourism expert, Peter Debrine; the head of the Center for Peace Research and Peace Education at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria, Werner Wintersteiner; the former Minister of Tourism of Indonesia, I. Gde Ardika; founder and managing director of Songa Africa, Rosette Chantal Rugamba; and UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. The Think Tank will be moderated by CNN, the official media partner of the 2011 WTD celebrations.


World Tourism Day celebrations taking place around the world can be found on the World Tourism Day website. The photos jurors were UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai; the Minister of Tourism of Egypt, Mounir Fakhry Abdel-Nour; and Anita Mendiratta from CNN Tourism Advertising Solutions and Knowledge (TASK) Group.