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The Sanrio character is promoting the year’s “Travel. Enjoy. Respect.” campaign.

Lisa Marie Segarra
December 01, 2017

The United Nation’s World Tourism Organization just named a new Special Ambassador of the International Year: Hello Kitty.

The United Nations made the announcement as part of 2017's “International Year of Sustainable Tourism Development.” The Sanrio character is promoting the year’s “Travel. Enjoy. Respect.” campaign, encouraging people to to travel.

“There are many place I would like to visit in the world. Beautiful landscapes, exciting cities and places where diverse people live,” Hello Kitty says in a video for the campaign, which will be shown at Japan's Nartia International Airport. “When you travel, remember to honor our planet. Respect nature, respect culture and respect your host."

Hello Kitty’s role as an ambassador will also involve promoting the U.N. World Tourism Organization's advocacy efforts and message and highlighting the part that tourism can play in sustainable development, the UNWTO said in a release. Those ideas will be brought to a global audience by using Hello Kitty to spread the message. Sanrio signed an agreement allowing for the use of its character as a special ambassador.

Other ambassadors for 2017 include leaders from countries around the world, such as Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, President of Costa Rica Luis Guillermo Solis, and President of the Republic of Malta Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca.

This isn’t the first time Hello Kitty was used as an international ambassador. In November, the character, along with Pikachu, was chosen to promote Osaka for the 2025 World Expo host by Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, Newsweek reported.

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