The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) is the United Nations’ agency for responsible and sustainable tourism.
The UNWTO statutes were adopted on Sunday 27 September 1970; the very first World Tourism Day took place 10 years later, on Saturday 27 September 1980.
The purpose of World Tourism Day is to “recognise the power and potential of tourism to advance prosperity and drive inclusive, sustainable development.” (Georgian Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO Secretary-General)
Monday, 27 September 2021 is the 42nd World Tourism Day, and this year’s designated theme is Tourism for Inclusive Growth.
Water plays a vital role in sustainable development – in terms of industry, transport, health, hygiene, and recreation. Hydration, of course, is essential for good health.
So, to mark World Tourism Day 2021, we’re going to take a brief look at the hydration cultures of three different countries.
In France, wine is an important part of the dining experience, and the French have a reputation for drinking a lot of it. But at any meal table in France – whether it’s at home or in a restaurant – there’ll also be a jug of water.
The French are conscientious about staying hydrated, and this is evidenced by the vast number of public water fountains located all over the country – Paris in particular. A few 16th and 17th century fountains are still standing, and of the 30 Parisian fountains built in the eighteenth century, 14 survive today. Besides more recently constructed fountains, there are around 100 green cast-iron Wallace fountains.
Richard Wallace (1818-1890) was an English philanthropist who lived and worked in Paris – a city he loved dearly. The aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War (July 1870-May 1871) brought a shortage of fresh drinking water, and Paris’s poor were turning to alcohol, which was cheaper. So, in 1872, Richard Wallace paid for dozens of beautiful drinking-water fountains to be installed in the city.
The eye-catching Wallace fountains were made of green cast iron and designed by the French sculptor, Charles Auguste Lebourg (1826-1906).
In recent years, as part of an initiative to reduce the number of single-use plastic bottles purchased in France, brand-new water fountains have sprung up in French cities.
Aqua Libra Co has a close connection to Chile. Why? Because our popular Aqua Alto tap is named after Chile’s 6km-high mountain peak, Alto San Juan.
For millennia, runoffs from Andean glaciers have been the main source of fresh water for Chilean communities. In the past 50 years, however, the glaciers’ mass has reduced by around 30%. Alarmingly, the melting rate is accelerating.
Chile has some wonderful traditional drinks, so staying hydrated in this warm, South American country is a tasty business!
Here’s a couple of Chile’s most popular soft drinks.
Mote con huesillo is a sweet, non-alcoholic drink made with dried peaches and husked wheat.
Bilz y (“and”) Pap are two popular soft drinks produced by the beverage corporation, Compañía de Cervecerías Unidas (CCU), Chile’s second-largest producer of soft drinks.
Bilz is an artificially flavoured, red-coloured drink invented by a German naturopath called Friedrich Eduard Bilz. Pap is a yellow, papaya-flavoured drink. The two are sold separately in shops and restaurants in Chile and other South American countries, but they’re best known as a combination: Bilz y Pap.
Go to a restaurant in Japan, and you’ll probably be offered a very small cup of water with your meal; not the huge glass of water that you get in a Western country.
This is partly to do with the Japanese diet (boiled rice and vegetables, etc), which contains a lot more water than the typical UK diet.
But there’s another reason. Many Eastern cultures believe that water taken with a meal will dilute the saliva, which can have a detrimental effect on digestion (a stance shared by some Western dieticians).
It’s said that:
The wonderful thing about tourism is the opportunity to experience diverse cultures and to celebrate the difference. So …
Vive la difference!
Viva la diferencia!
Chigai o nagaiki sa seru!
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