Statement by UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov on World Tourism Day

Vienna, 27 September 2016 - "Tourism for all - promoting universal accessibility" is the theme of this year's World Tourism Day and calls for everyone to enjoy the numerous benefits of tourism and to experience the breath-taking beauty of our world.

This day is also an occasion to reflect on how hundreds of millions of tourists can remain vigilant for crimes that exploit or abuse people and communities.

In 2014, UNODC, the World Tourism Organization and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched a global campaign called Your Actions Count - Be a Responsible Traveller to raise awareness about common illicit goods and services that tourists might face while travelling.

Theft and trafficking in cultural artefacts, wildlife, drugs and counterfeit goods cause tremendous harm and undermine sustainable development in brittle societies.

But, tourists can perhaps play their most important role in helping to end the parasitic crime of human trafficking.

Observant tourists can be influential in spotting this global crime which causes widespread misery and pain and threatens millions of vulnerable children, women and men.

The plain truth is that human trafficking victims are in every society.

If we work together and remain watchful, we can help trafficked individuals escape the clutches of despair and become spirited survivors.

"Tourism for all" is a tremendous theme for an important day, but we should also give thought to those who cannot escape their present circumstances. People who, like everyone else, deserve to be free.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: Message For World Tourism Day 2016

For further information please contact:

David Dadge
Spokesperson, UNODC
Phone: (+43 1) 26060-5629
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5629
Email: david.dadge[at]unvienna.org