“Sustainable Tourism - A Tool for Development”: Was The Focus of World Tourism Day at Taylor’s University

The Taylor’s student chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) helped to organised this year’s World Tourism Day to highlight the importance of tourism as a sustainable development tool.

(L-R) Mr Anthony Wong (MD of The Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa), Ms Firna Azura Ekaputri (Ministry of Tourism & Culture Malaysia), Dr Neethia (Executive Dean Faculty of Hospitality, Food & Leisure), Prof Dr Tony K. Thomas (Head, Dept of Hospitality, Tourism & Events)
World Tourism Day was established by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in 1970, and the theme for World Tourism Day 2017 event was “Sustainable Tourism – A Tool for Development”.  The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Malaysia Taylor's Student Chapter hosted this year’s event. The  event was organised to not only create awareness about World Tourism Day, but also and to better inform student the impacts of tourism on not only business but also the environment. Ahead of this year's event, the UNWTO has released a manual on tourist etiquette called “Travel. Enjoy. Respect,” as part of a global public awareness campaign reminding tourists on the dos and don'ts of responsible travel.  Last year alone, 1.24 billon travellers crossed international borders, a figure that's predicted to spike to 1.8 billion by 2030. “The question, as we celebrate World Tourism Day 2017, is how we can enable this powerful global transformative force, these 1.8 billion opportunities, to contribute to make this world a better place and to advance sustainable development in all its 5 pillars,” said UNWTO's secretary-general Taleb Rifai. But as the AFP News has recently pointed out, “The reminder comes following a particularly turbulent year for international tourism. Across Europe this summer, a wave of anti-tourism marches were staged to protest unchecked visitor numbers and disrespectful tourists. Visitors to Barcelona were being greeted with messages like ‘Tourists go home’ and ‘Stop destroying our lives’ pasted onto lamp posts and scribbled on walls”. Previous World Tourism Day events at Taylor’s University have focused on topics such as the economic impacts of tourism and the “Value of One Billion Tourists” , as well as on those with disabilities and creating “Tourism For All”. The interactive events of this year’s World Tourism Day at the Lakeside campus included a Natural Tie Dye Workshop, a film called “Gringo Trails” by EcoKnights, a Biji Interactive talk on sustainable tourism, a Cultural Dance Workshop and a “Save the food, Save the World” Food Waste Management workshop. Dr Toney Thomas, Head of the School of Hospitality, Tourism & Events said “the event is also aimed to provide a platform for interactions of students from different institutions, and to create connection between them". Ms. Narmatha Murugan, Advisor of the PATA- Malaysia Taylor’s Student Chapter said ‘this year’s sustainable tourism event was organised with full consciousness of using recycled or reusable materials, extensive use of technology helped to reduce impact on environment’.  To find out more about the Faculty of Hospitality, Food & Leisure click here - (Global Matters 2017)