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On September 27 the world celebrated World Tourism Day, a date appointed by the United Nations to draw attention to the economy surrounding global tourism and the many ways we still need to consciously work toward making this industry, which is set to grow by 3 percent annually until 2030.

According to the UN, the past six decades have seen the continued expansion of the tourism industry as it has been a crucial factor in driving diversity and becoming one of the most important markets for jobs across the world.

This year's theme for International Tourism Day is 'Tourism and Jobs – a Better Future for All. As the world becomes globalised, with affordable flights and accommodation, it's important that the role of those in tourism isn't overlooked. For that the UN outlines three major points we must follow:

Maximize tourism’s potential to create more and better jobs, especially for women and youth.

Reflect and incorporate ongoing advances in technology.

Address the current mismatch between tourism skills that are taught and those that tourism employers need.

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The good

The rise of tourism means we are doing alright

Since 1950, tourism numbers around the world have jumped up from 25 million to 1.3 billion today, just 69 years later. At the same time, revenue coming from international tourism locations, according to the UN, have grown from $2 billion in 1950 to $1260 trillion in 2015. With that number expected to be higher today. This industry in fact representes a cool 10 percent of GDP the world over and 1 in 10 jobs across the world are thanks to tourism.

So why is tourism such a solid part of all our lives and what has happened over the past half a century to make it jump to such levels?

Outlined by the UN, the recognition of the right to holidays in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the improved adoption of labour rights in many countries have played major parts in the unprecedented growth of tourism.

These factors play a massive role in forming the industry's resilience, as the market has hardly experienced any interruptions over the past decades, regardless of recessions, difficult domestic and international political times, outbreaks of disease and global economic crises.

Tourism helps the world go round. It brings jobs and prosperity and it makes us all more connected as we experience other cultures. However the industry is culpable of fuelling the climate crisis. How can we continue tourism but with a more environmentally conscious approach needs to be our focus over the next decade.

The bad

the negative impacts of tourism on our planet

While tourism is great for the world's economy and bringing jobs to remote corners of our planet, it is also a massive factor to environmental damage.

The movement of people from their home to their final tourist destination involves transport through road, rail, and air, and oftentimes, a combinations of all of the above. When a large number of tourists are involved, it invariably leads to a greater use of the transportation system – think about the cruise ship industry.

Aeroplanes and cars are a huge part of global pollution, with aeroplanes being pretty much up there on the high emmissions list – polluting the air both locally and globally.

The continued and speeding growth in international tourism, tourists now account for nearly 60 percent of air travel. In her recent trip to the U.S., Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg travelled by sailboat in a bid to raise awareness, however for many of us, such slow and low emission travel is not a possibility.

The world is not black and white. Tourism, as outlined above, accounts to 1 in 10 jobs around the world. This cannot be ignored. But at the same time, our tourism habits are destroying our planet. We need to fight together and demand environmentally friendly solutions to continuing tourism growth while also protecting our planet today, and in the future.


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Country focus
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Situated on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe, Bosnia and Herzegovina neighbours Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro and is almost completely landlocked, despite running miles away from the coast.

Bosnia and Herzegovina was part of the Eastern bloc of Yugoslavia and is still in many ways recovering from a deadly three-year war that broke out following the collapse of the bloc in the early 1990s. While it is an independent country, Bosnia and Herzegovina continues to be partially under the oversight of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords, which set up two separate entities - the Bosniak-Croat Federation and Bosnian-Serb Republic, both overarched by a federal government and rotating presidency. This has created a great divide between the Serbian and Croatian Bosnians.

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