World Tourism Day Tuesday

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The World Tourism Day 2016 will be celebrated across the world on Tuesday with the theme ‘Tourism for All – Promoting Universal Accessibility’.

Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry and Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation will bring out a rally and organise a seminar in the city marking the day.

Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon will inaugurate the rally from Matsya Bhaban intersection at 8:30am on Tuesday.

A seminar, to be arranged by Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation, on the theme of the year will be held in the afternoon at Hotel Abakash, said an official on Monday.

“Everyone has the right to access leisure and tourism services on an equal basis,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a message ahead of the day.

With almost 1.2 billion people travelling abroad each year, tourism has become a powerful economic sector, a passport to prosperity and peace, and a transformative force improving millions of lives, Ban said.

Yet one billion people around the world living with disability, along with young children, seniors and persons with other access requirements, still face obstacles in accessing fundamentals of travel such as clear and reliable information, efficient transportation and public services, and a physical environment that is easy to navigate, he said.

The UN chief said even with modern technologies, those with visual, hearing, mobility or cognitive impairments are being left behind in many tourism destinations. “Accessibility is both an important market opportunity and central to responsible and sustainable tourism policies and business development strategies.”

Ban encouraged policymakers, destination planners and companies working with people with special needs to work together to remove all barriers, mental and physical, to travel.

“On this World Tourism Day, let’s recognise that all people can and should be able to participate in tourism and enjoy unforgettable travel experiences,” said the UN chief.

UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary-General Taleb Rifai, in separate message, said tourism has experienced a revolution in the past 50 years.

In 1950 there were 25 million international tourists; today there are around 1.2 billion people travelling the world, he said adding that travelling has become a huge part of many lives.

“Accessibility for all should be at the center of tourism policies and business strategies not only as a human right, but also as a great market opportunity, Rifai said.

He urged all countries and destinations, as well as the industry, to promote accessibility for all in the physical environment, in transport systems, in public facilities and services and in information and communications channels.

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