World Tourism Day: a global celebration

World Tourism Day (September 27) is the most widely-celebrated global day for tourism. World Tourism Day has been held since 1980 and has been a United Nations “official day” since the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) became a UN specialized agency in 2003.
In 2011, World Tourism Day is being celebrated around the theme, “Tourism – Linking Cultures,” and will highlight tourism’s role in bringing the cultures of the world together and promoting global understanding through travel.

The official World Tourism Day celebrations will take place in Aswan, Egypt, and will include a High Level Think Tank on the 2011 theme.

Speakers include the Minister of Tourism of Egypt, Mounir Fakhi Abdel-Nour; UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai; the Minister for Culture and Tourism of Greece, Pavlos Yeroulanos; and the Chief Executive of TUI, Michael Frenzel.

All information on World Tourism day, including the official message of the Secretary-General in text and video may be found at: http://wtd.unwto.org/en .

PHOTO: East West Jubilation at Great Cattle Fair in Pushkar / Photo by Rabin Chakrabarti via unwto.org

UK, US and Canada intensify travel restrictions on Iranian regime

The UK, US and Canada have decided to work together to intensify travel restrictions on members of the Iranian Government, as part of our efforts to implement international sanctions on Iran.

This co-ordinated action will include steps by the UK to prevent Iranian human rights offenders and individuals connected with the Iranian nuclear programme from entering our country.

Announcing the UK measures, Foreign Secretary, William Hague said:

“Iran continues to seek equipment and components from around the world for its illicit nuclear programme. The United Nations and European Union have already imposed travel and financial restrictions on individuals associated with the nuclear programme. Consistent with these measures, the UK is working closely with its partners to prevent a wide range of individuals connected with Iran’s nuclear enrichment and weaponisation programmes from entering our countries. These include scientists, engineers and those procuring components.”

“We are also taking action against more Iranians who have committed serious human rights abuses, including government ministers, members of the judiciary, prison officials and others associated with the Iranian government’s brutal crackdown on its people since the disputed elections of 2009.”

“The UK is co-ordinating its measures closely with key partners, such as the US and Canada. The message to the Iranian government from the UK and its partners is clear: it needs to change its behaviour before it will be treated as a normal member of the international community.”