- 27 Sep 2004
- IOC News
World Tourism Day 2004
On the occasion of World Tourism Day, which is celebrated worldwide on 27 September, the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are renewing their commitment to reinforce their partnerships and collaboration. IOC President Jacques Rogge and Francesco Frangialli, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organisation, issued a message on this occasion entitled: Sport and tourism: living forces for mutual understanding, culture and the development of society. The joint message reads as follows:
"Sport and tourism share common goals: building bridges of understanding between different cultures, lifestyles and traditions; promoting peace and goodwill among nations; motivating and inspiring young people and providing entertainment and enjoyment to relieve the pressures of daily life to large sections of the population.
Interrelated and complementary
Tourism and sport are interrelated and complementary. Sport - as a professional, amateur or leisure activity - involves a considerable amount of travelling to play and compete in different destinations and countries. Major sporting events, such as the Olympic Games, football and rugby championships and auto racing have become powerful tourism attractions in themselves - making a very positive contribution to the tourism image of the host destination.
Powerful sources for development
Both are powerful forces for development, stimulating investment in infrastructure projects such as airports, roads, stadiums, sporting complexes, hotels and restaurants - projects that can be enjoyed by the local population, as well as visitors who come to use them. Once the infrastructure is in place, these two mutually beneficial industries of tourism and sport become the motor for sustainable economic growth, the creation of employment and generation of revenues.
Contribution to greater understanding
But at the same time, they are activities that bring people together and help forge strong personal relationships. In this way they are making the world a smaller place -contributing to greater understanding among cultures, greater tolerance and, ultimately, to world peace.
Cooperation since 1999
It is in this framework that the WTO and the IOC began their cooperation in 1999 to strengthen the links between tourism and sport, and have supported numerous initiatives in this field at national and international levels.
The WTO and the IOC therefore invite all member and non-member States, as well as all National Olympic Committees, International Federations and Organising Committees for the Olympic Games, to join us in promoting a strategic partnership between tourism and sport, to benefit mutual understanding, culture and the development of society."
Official website of the World Tourism Organisation (WTO)