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Friday, September 24, 2004


VATICAN CITY, SEP 24, 2004 (VIS) - "Sports and Tourism: Two Living Forces for Mutual Understanding, Culture and the Development of Societies" is the theme of the 25th World Tourism Day, which is held annually on September 27 and is sponsored by the World Tourism Organization (WTO).

  A communique from the office of the Holy See Permanent Observer to the WTO, Msgr. Piero Monni, notes that "this year World Tourism Day falls during a particular time of international tension, due to the well-known events that interest several countries involved in warlike or semi-war activities.

  "Annual interest by governments and institutions in this growing world phenomenon," continues the note, "registered, in this current tourist period, a notable decrease of presences which can be attributed to the limited purchase power of the Euro and the widespread fear of possible terrorist acts. Notwithstanding these contingencies, man's desire for tourism has re-emerged in a significant way and people have not always allowed themselves to be intimidated by the above-mentioned negative factors and they have traveled to new countries, even if in smaller numbers and for less time."

  Entrance to the Vatican Museums and to the Vatican Historical Museum at St. John Lateran, concludes the communique, will be free on World Tourism Day, as will be some museums in other countries.
.../WORLD TOURISM DAY/MONNI                VIS 20040924 (220)

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