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World Tourism Day 2018 was celebrated in Hungary

23 October 2018

Hungary was the host country of this year’s World Tourism Day. The theme of the event was “Tourism and the Digital Transformation” - a priority of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) – and it explored how investment in new technologies offers innovation opportunities to the sector, such as local community empowerment and efficient resource management.

Photo: Mr. Csaba Dömötör, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Cabinet of the Prime Minister of Hungary speaking at World Tourism Day

World Tourism Day has been commemorated on the 27th of September since 1980 by the UNWTO with the aim of raising awareness to the significant role that tourism plays in international economic growth and development, while providing a unique platform to create partnerships and exchange views. The tourism sector contributes to 10.4% of the world’s GDP generating 313 million jobs and with an annual increase that exceeds the global economic growth.

This year ministers, high-level political representatives, tourism experts, entrepreneurs, investors and innovators from 52 countries gathered in Budapest to celebrate World Tourism Day.

There was an interesting addition to the prestigious event: the launching of the first ever UNWTO Tourism Start-up Competition, where 20 semi-finalists presented their innovative projects to investors and tourism leaders. They were selected from over 3,000 applicants from 132 countries. The competition was initiated by UNWTO and the Spanish tourism company Globalia to find projects that promote innovation and the way in which travel can be re-imagined.

One of the main conclusions of the conference was that political support is the key to putting tourism at the centre of the global innovation and digital agenda. The importance of technological solutions for safe, seamless and sustainable travel was also emphasized.


Budapest is an ideal location for global conferences due to its excellent location in the heart of Europe, and Hungary’s commitment toward sustainable developments and digital future. Hungary became a member of the UNWTO in 1975.

Photo: Buda Castle and the Chain Bridge in Budapest

In 2017, Hungary welcomed around 16 million international tourists. Inbound tourism to the country has doubled since 2010, and has seen the tourism industry growing from strength to strength in the recent years.

Embassy of Hungary in South Africa



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