Vatican encourages support for rural tourism

Tourism and rural development is the theme for this year’s World Tourism Day on September 27 (Bigstock)

The drastic reduction in people’s mobility because of the COVID-19 pandemic could be an opportunity for moving one’s heart and mind instead – and for finding other ways to be supportive of those in need, the Vatican said. Source: CNS.

The tourism industry has been devastated by global and national restrictions aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19, it said.

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (WTO) estimates that international tourism could plummet by 60 to 80 per cent over the course of the year, putting millions of jobs at risk.

The tourism sector needs people’s support, said the Vatican’s message for the September 27 celebration of World Tourism Day. The message was signed by Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

The theme of the 2020 celebration, which the WTO chose before the pandemic, is tourism and rural development – an area that could still be supported even with some COVID-related restrictions, the cardinal wrote.

It is an invitation to support sustainable tourism in rural areas, small villages or streets and places that are hidden or get overlooked, he said.

These less crowded and less polluted places, when visited responsibly, can foster positive experiences for both travellers and the local community, he added.

Agrotourism, in particular, helps support local family farms, and visitors can learn a new, less hectic way of life in greater harmony with others and nature, he wrote.


COVID-19 restrictions offer chance to support rural tourism, Vatican says (By Carol Glatz, CNS)

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