This year´s World Tourism Day highlights the global potential of tourism for socio-economic development. With more than one billion international tourists now traveling the world each year, tourism has become a powerful and transformative force that is making a genuine difference in the lives of millions of people. The potential of tourism for sustainable development is considerable. As one of the world’s leading employment sectors, tourism provides important livelihood opportunities, helping to alleviate poverty and drive inclusive development. As tourism revolves around encounters between different peoples, the sector can foster multicultural understanding and raise awareness on the need to preserve cultural and natural heritage. As the world prepares to adopt a new sustainable development agenda, tourism should be recognized for its ability to create jobs, promote local culture and products and champion the conservation and sustainable use of marine and terrestrial habitats. Let us work together to maximize the immense potential of tourism to drive inclusive economic growth, protect the environment and promote sustainable development and a life of dignity for all.