The World Tourism Day and its activities are aimed to raise awareness among the international community about the importance of tourism, and its social, environmental and economic values. "Sustainable Tourism – a tool for development" has been adopted by the UNWTO as the theme to celebrate the 2017 World Tourism Day on 27 September 2017. In relation to the adopted theme, the entire year 2017 has been declared as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism by the United Nations. To celebrate tourism month, the Department of Tourism hosts a number of events, including the Public Lecture which is a platform hosted by the Minister of Tourism to exchange and share ideas with relevant stakeholders in order to enhance strategies, planning, programmes and policy decision-making within the tourism sector.
The Public Lecture is held in the province where the annual Tourism Day Celebration (27 September) takes place. As such, this year's lecture will be held in the Mpumalanga Province, in partnership with the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA), Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDT), as well as University of Mpumalanga (UMP) and Tshwane University of Technology (TUT)
as institutions of higher learning in this province offering tourism related studies. Aligned to the UNWTO theme for World Tourism Day, the lecture will focus on how South Africa can enhance and utilise sustainable tourism as a tool to develop the tourism sector. In keeping with the localised theme for Tourism Month, "We do Tourism Sustainably through our economic, environmental and social business practices and initiatives", the Public Lecture will focus on how South Africa can enhance and utilise sustainable tourism as a tool to develop the tourism sector. Furthermore, as September marks national heritage month, Public Lecture will also take an opportunity to celebrate this interdependent relationship between tourism and culture/heritage.
The Lecture is scheduled to be held as follows:
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Date: 26 September 2017
Time: 08:30 to 12:15 (all delegates to be seated by 08:40)
Venue: University of Mpumalanga, Mbombela.