27 September is a day to celebrate: here's how you can celebrate 'World Tourism Day 2023' with us
World Tourism Day has been celebrated in all countries on 27 September every year since 1980. It was the World Tourism Organisation that chose the date, as it straddles the end of the summer tourist season in the northern hemisphere and the beginning of the summer tourism season in the southern hemisphere.
This is an anniversary that emphasises the importance of tourism, travel and cultural exchange, and we at Visit Italy look forward to celebrating it with travellers like you, without whom this day would be meaningless.
Word Tourism Day 2023: why it's important
Who more than us understands how tourism is a very important growth engine for a country, but also a phenomenon that has a positive influence not only from an economic and employment point of view, but also from a social and cultural one.
Tourism is an important sector of the world economy, involving at least one in ten people in employment, creating opportunities especially for women and young people. The positive effects are not only concentrated on the most famous attractions and places, but also on the most disadvantaged areas, benefiting rural populations and the most vulnerable communities.
From a social point of view, tourism offers an enormous opportunity for personal growth: what drives people to travel is curiosity, the desire to know what is different from us and to come into contact with cultures, traditions and lifestyles different from our own. Knowledge and appreciation of what is different are fundamental points on which the fight against inequality and discrimination is based.
Tourism is obviously based on the culture of a country, and the attractions it can offer visitors, but these attractions could not be maintained and preserved if it were not for those who visit them: a virtuous circle is thus triggered of maintaining and enhancing the cultural heritage, together of course with the natural heritage, which reinvests the profits in the protection and preservation of terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
The choice of the theme for World Tourism Day 2023, 'Investment for People, Planet and Prosperity', with which the World Tourism Organisation wants to involve all public and private actors towards a common goal, now seems a little clearer: making tourism accessible for all, sustainable for the planet and a key sector for a country's development, offering opportunities for people to grow.
Italy, the most desired country in the world
Italy is not only a popular tourist destination, according to Globus, it is the most sought-after and desired tourist destination in the world. According to the survey by the group that has been organising tours around the world for years, Europe reigns supreme as a destination for international travellers, with Italy dominating the top of the 'must-see' list for 2023, with 22% of the preferences.
Art and cuisine invite travellers to the Bel Paese to enjoy the dolce vita in every way. Italy takes second place to Greece and Turkey, followed by France, England, Ireland and Scotland.
How important is tourism in Italy?
Apparently very important, just think of the Bank of Italy's pre-pandemic year 2019 estimates. The tourism sector alone directly generated more than 5% of the national GDP. Moreover, this percentage rises to 13% if we also consider the GDP generated indirectly. According to the latest estimates, the year 2023 is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels, marking a new record in tourism attendance. The most positively striking fact is the influx of tourists not only in the summer but also in the low season, and not only in the large cultural centres, but also in the villages and nature centres.
With numbers like these, it is clear that tourism is one of the most important economic resources of this country, but not only: it is much more than that, it is a possibility, that of opening one's mind to the newness of the world, welcoming different ideas and cultures and at the same time discovering multiple ways of being in the world while remaining wonderfully human.
In addition to all this, there is also the sharing of places, which belong to all humanity. Organizations such as Unesco preserve monuments and natural environments for local people, tourists, and travellers.
Moreover, thanks to its varied offer, Italy has always been one of the most important tourist destinations in the world. It is worth remembering that this country has the highest mountains on the European continent as well as miles and miles of coastline, hills, rivers, volcanoes, and even deserts.
And then there are the big tourist cities such as Rome, Naples, Milan, Florence, Venice, and Turin, as well as a whole series of smaller but incredibly charming towns such as Perugia, Lecce, Syracuse, Modena, Ascoli Piceno, Matera, or Aosta (to name but a few) and the splendid medieval villages in every region of this incredible country.
The future of Toursim
Following the theme of World Tourism Day 2023, focusing on ecotourism is becoming increasingly important.
But what are we talking about? Ecotourism, or sustainable tourism, is a type of tourism promoted by professionals who prioritize the balance between tourist activities and the environment, using techniques and strategies that also help travelers be more aware of their surroundings.
Here you can find some tips to make your trip more sustainable and conscious.
3 activities to celebrate the World Tourism Day 2023
To celebrate this day that smacks of adventure and wonder, we put together some activities that emphasise the principles of sustainable and responsible tourism.
Don't forget to take a nice photo and use the frame that the World Tourism Organisation has created for the occasion!
You can find it here.
3. Cycling in Valeggio sul Mincio and the Sigurtà Park
One of the principles of sustainable tourism is visit centres that are off the beaten tourist track: Italy is the perfect country for venturing out to discover precious little gems like the villages that dot the countryside and mountains.
You will therefore be amazed to visit Valeggio sul Mincio, a small medieval village on the border between Veneto and Lombardy and just a few kilometres from Lake Garda: crossed by the Mincio river, the town spreads out on the slopes of a hill and still retains its medieval soul visible at the Scaliger Castle that watches over the town from above, or by crossing the beautiful Visconti Bridge and its towers.
Famous also for its culinary tradition, consisting of tortellini and freshwater fish, the pearl that Valeggio holds is the Sigurtà Park, 60 hectares of green beauty that in the last 10 years has won awards as the Most Beautiful Park in Italy, Europe and the World Tulip Award. We recommend walking or cycling along its wonderful pathways, but it is also possible to rent a golf-kart at the entrance.
2. Create your own glass artwork in Murano
Getting to know local traditions is part of the principles of sustainable and responsible tourism, because it helps travellers to get in touch with the local people, their history and their culture, in order to get to know and appreciate them.
Visiting a master glassmaker's furnace in Murano and seeing a shapeless, incandescent mass being extracted from the flames and transformed into all kinds of objects in a matter of seconds certainly has the flavour of magic. Have you ever thought of trying it yourself? Now you can!
Don't forget to visit the wonderful Glass Museum where you can learn about the history of this activity from its ancient origins in Roman times. The visit to the Museum is included in the Venice Pass!
1. Immerse yourself in history by visiting Naples and Campania
Art and culture are the jewel in Italy's crown: crossed by dozens of different peoples and cultures, over the centuries it has seen the construction of monuments, buildings and entire cities that still distinguish it throughout the world. Keeping this heritage alive is also your task, visiting and passing on the history that these places hold.
A trip to Naples seems like a no-brainer, but with the Naples Pass you can visit historical sites throughout the region: not only the city's Archaeological Museum, but you can also discover the dramatic history of Pompeii and Herculaneum and lose yourself in the sumptuous Reggia di Caserta.
We look forward to celebrating World Tourism Day 2023 with you!
Book now your Naples Pass❯