College of Health and Human Performance

Happy World Tourism Day

By Rachel J.C. Fu, Ph.D.

September 27, 2021

World Tourism Day, celebrated each year on September 27, is the global observance day fostering awareness of tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value worldwide. The Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute and the Department of Tourism, Hospitality & Event Management join the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on this 41st celebration of World Tourism Day.


This year’s theme is tourism for inclusive growth.

“UNWTO has therefore designated World Tourism Day 2021 as a day to focus on tourism for inclusive growth. This is an opportunity to look beyond tourism statistics and acknowledge that, behind every number, there is a person. UNWTO invites its member states, as well as non-members, sister UN agencies, businesses and individuals to celebrate tourism’s unique ability to ensure that nobody is left behind as the world begins to open up again and look to the future.”

At the University of Florida, we are dedicated to increasing education access and providing opportunities for all students. We celebrate our community of diverse backgrounds and experiences and offer opportunities for students to expand their learning outside the classroom by participating in programs that support and promote multicultural learning experiences. At the College of Health and Human Performance (HHP), we strive to enrich lives, promote healthy living and enhance human performance of diverse populations worldwide. 

The Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management (THEM) is the first department in the tourism, hospitality, and event industries that is within a top-5 public university in the U.S. The Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute (EFTI) is the first endowed tourism research institute at the University of Florida. Our missions are to offer innovative higher education, advance cutting-edge research, create meaningful engagement opportunities, connect with talented industry leaders nationally and globally, and change the world through excellence, inclusion, diversity, equity, access and integrity.

Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. The industries make contributions to community development, provide job opportunities and culture enrichment. Twenty-seven resolutions that I’d love to accomplish to honor and celebrate World Tourism Day September 27 in 2021-2022 include:

  1. Have a hospitable and kind conversation with one person every day
  2. Speak with two individuals per day about the importance of tourism, hospitality, and event industries
  3. Write three comments every month that will update and highlight our industry progresses
  4. Hire four new faculty members [two were recruited in 2021; will be recruiting two more in 2021/2022]
  5. Connect with five students individually on a weekly basis
  6. Read six books
  7. Compose seven new songs
  8. Eat eight different fruits every week
  9. Donate nine meals to 9 families
  10. Connect with 10 companies at every attended conference on tourism & hospitality
  11. Re-connect with 11 old friends in one year
  12. Visit 12 museums in Florida
  13. Have a takeout meal on the 13th of each month
  14. Take and post 14 UF campus signature photos on my social media
  15. Visit 15 cities in one year
  16. Watch 16 movies in one year
  17. to 27 Believing that at least 27 individuals who read this celebration article will complete their own 10 wishes

Celebrating Tourism for Inclusive Growth. Every Day.

Rachel J.C. Fu, Ph.D., is chair and professor in the Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management and director of the Eric Friedheim Tourism Institute. Dr. Fu also serves as the chairperson of the HHP Dean's Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access Council and as the campus diversity liaison.

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