On September 27, 2014, Voi will be the national host of this year’s World Tourism Day, an annual event globally held by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). According to the UNWTO, World Tourism Day’s goal is to “foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value. The event seeks to address global challenges outlined in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to highlight the contribution the tourism sector can make in reaching these goals.
This year’s World Tourism Day is being held under the theme ‘Tourism and Community Development’ and will be focusing on the ability of tourism to empower people and provide them with skills to achieve change in their local communities.
Tourism today is at the forefront of the global trend in promoting Community Based Tourism (CBT). As the most important international observance day for tourism, WTD 2014 is a worldwide platform to underscore tourism´s responsibility and commitment in ensuring a sustainable community development. Today’s sustainability of tourism trends on the full participation of resource owners who in a nutshell are the local people.
The above is in line with KECOBAT’s key slogan of ‘Enhancing livelihoods through tourism’, a goal that it intends to achieve for every Kenyan affected by tourism. Kenya Community Based Tourism Network (KECOBAT) which is a membership umbrella organization, will fully participate in the event to represent the interest of Community Based Tourism Enterprises (CBTE’s) in Kenya.
World Tourism Day offers a unique opportunity to shine a spotlight on our communities both as an asset and as a resource and on the actions needed to face up challenges faced by the locals. KECOBAT urges all those involved in the tourism sector to join our global World Tourism Day campaign and continue to devise innovate solutions to ensuring tourism contributes to sustainable access to the local communities nationally.