According to the UN World Tourism Organization, the purpose of tomorrow’s annual ode to travel “is to raise awareness on the role of tourism within the international community, and to demonstrate how it affects social, cultural, political and economic values worldwide, and to…”
Sounds like a thrill a minute, right? At least you know why you forgot about it.
In my neck of the urban jungle, these worthy-yet-tedious themes were given a shot in the arm earlier this week at G Adventures’ fourth-annual Future of Tourism event, which featured a lively panel discussion and presentation by the Toronto-based tour company’s energetic founder, Bruce Poon Tip.
The WTO, for its part, offers a list of “suggested WTD activities,” ranging from on-the-road electricity and water conservation efforts (viable on such short notice) to hosting special events like concerts and art exhibitions (maybe next year).
It’s all very earnest, in a United Nations sort of way, but at least the tips wrap up on an obvious note: “Take a trip.”
“Whether it’s around the world or within your own country,” the WTD website says, “read the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism before you go to make sure your trip is as sustainable and responsible as possible.”
So, if you don’t have the time or resources for a last-minute getaway, you can always celebrate WTD by breezing through eight pages of bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo.
Another option, however, is to fake it. Here, then, are five ways to feel like you're exploring the globe without leaving your home base, or even your home:
1. Speak in a foreign language or with a foreign accent all day. I’ve always loved International Talk Like a Pirate Day, so this is really just another excuse to sound like I’ve suffered a brain injury.
2. Replace that TGIF beer with a TGIF blender drink (ideally served by a flying monkey). Speaking of brain injuries…
3. Use your passport as ID. Works great in combination with a North Korean accent.
4. Go out for an exotic meal. In Toronto, I recommend Mengrai Thai, which also offers Thai cooking classes.
5. Visit a tourist attraction in your hometown. Does Honest Ed's sell miniature umbrellas? Two birds, one stone….