World Tourism Day is celebrated on September 27 every year, which indicates the importance of this industry which employs one in ten people in the countries of the world.
In 1970, the statues of the organization were adopted, which constituted a very important moment for the tourism industry, while on September 27, 1980, the first World Tourism Day was celebrated, TheSchengen.com reports.
On World Tourism Day, the World Tourism Organization called on people to focus their attention on the capacity of tourism.
“By celebrating this day, we are declaring our commitment that, as tourism grows, the benefits that come at every level of our broad and diverse sector will emerge, from the largest airline to the smallest family business,” Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, noted in this regard.
On the other hand, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasized that the tourism sector is an important part of the global economy.
Guterres stressed that “on World Tourism Day, we recognize the power and potential of tourism to drive prosperity and achieve comprehensive and sustainable development.”
What are the most visited countries in Europe?
Tourism continues to suffer heavy damage due to the COVID-19 situation which has prompted governments to impose travel bans and entry restrictions in order to stem the spread of the virus. Besides, since the beginning of the epidemic, many countries have temporarily suspended all non-essential travel which also includes travel for tourism purposes.
Due to COVID-19, Europe’s travel and tourism industry suffered a 51.4 percent (€987 billion) decline last year, based on the Economic Trends report previously published by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).
The same report revealed that domestic spending in Europe recorded a decrease of 48.4 percent, while international spending fell by 63.8 percent. Besides, last year, a total of 3.6 million people working in the travel and tourism sector were left unemployed and in a difficult situation.
However, the most visited countries in Europe are located here, according to the World Tourism Organization;
France is the most visited country, not only in Europe but also globally, with a total of 89.4 million visitors in 2018, based on the figures of the World Tourism Organization.
Due to the COVID-19 situation, the authorities in France last year imposed an entry ban and other restrictions, which also contributed to the devastating situation caused by the country’s tourism sector; However, on June 9, the country opened its doors to vaccinate travelers from 38 countries, including travelers from 26 countries in the European Union.
>> Traveling to France this summer amid COVID-19 – all you need to know
According to the World Tourism Organization report, with a total of 82.8 million visitors in 2018, Spain is the second most visited country in Europe.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected Spain as well. After keeping strict entry procedures in place due to the COVID-19 situation, Spain recently announced that it will allow entry to travelers from most countries of the European Union and the Schengen area, without quarantine if they come from areas with low rates of COVID-19 infection.
Travelers from other countries are also allowed to enter Spain for tourism purposes, provided they have been fully immunized against the virus.
>> Traveling to Spain for Summer 2021: Here’s what you need to know
Italy is the third most visited country in Europe. It received a total of 52.4 million visitors in 2016 and another 58.3 million in 2017, while in 2018, the country saw 61.6 million visitors.
After closing its borders due to the Corona virus, the country decided to reopen its borders in January 2021, allowing entry to the following European countries; Austria, Andorra, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
>> Traveling to Italy this summer amid the coronavirus outbreak: What you need to know before booking a flight
According to the World Tourism Organization, a total of 37.5 million travelers visited Germany in 2017, while in 2018; The country received 38.9 million visitors.
Such numbers contributed to placing this country in fourth place.
>> Who can travel to Germany this summer and what are the rules