This year's global tourism event will be hosted by Thailand on Sept. 27 with the theme "Tourism for All", according to an official announcement by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNTWO) that aims to promote responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.
UNWTO's membership includes 157 countries, 6 associate members and 500 affiliate members, representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities.
Global tourism is multi-billion business benefitting many countries. In 2014, about 1.13 billion undertook international trips, marking a growth of 4.4 percent over the previous year and the fifth straight year of increase in global tourist visits. The earnings were estimated at $1,245 billion, up 3.7 percent over 2013, according to the WTO's annual report for 2014.
"The Americas (+8 percent), Asia and the Pacific (+5 percent) and the Middle East (+5 percent) registered the strongest growth, while Europe (+3%) and Africa (+2%) grew at a slightly more modest pace," according to the report.
In India too, tourism contributes significantly to the economy. Foreign exchange earnings stood at about $20 billion in calendar year 2015. The third-largest Asian economy and also the fastest-growing in the world, India has initiated a series of measures to facilitate foreign tourists arrivals into the country, the most significant being e-tourist visas.
The country is also hosting a seminar between Sept. 21 and 23 called "Tourism Investors' Summit 2016" aimed at showcasing projects to generate interest among investors. The event will be held in capital New Delhi.