Montreal: Official Conference of the UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development


An announcement from the International Institute for Peace through Tourism

A high level program is taking shape for the UNWTO-IIPT Global Summit in Montreal, 17-21 September; and official conference of the UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, 18-19 September, beginning with the Welcome Reception Sunday evening
17 September.

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The Summit will feature Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, UN World Tourism Organization and other leaders of the industry as keynote speakers.

The “Provisional Program” for 18 & 19 September includes sessions on:

Remembering the Past – Inspiring the Future: Reflecting on the lessons to be learned friom World Wars I & II, the benefits of peace and the potential of travelers to be Ambassador of Peace.

Sustainable Tourism for Development and Peace in Africa: By 2050, Africa will be the most populous continent challenged with a legacy of colonialism and the need to empower and create entrepreneurial opportunities and employment for its youth. The role of sustainable tourism development in meeting these challenges.

Fostering Intercultural and Interfaith Dialogue: The transformative role of sustainable tourism development in building bridges and promoting tolerance and mutual understanding and the pioneering model of Azerbaijan in this contest.

Peace with Nature: Safeguarding our Common Home – Planet Earth: The exponential growth of tourism in a finite world is leaving a serious ecological footprint and contributing to climate change. What global strategies can be put in place to minimize these impacts while still fostering the key role of tourism in “building a better world.”

Keynote Speakers will include:
H.E. Abulfas Garayev, Minister of Culture and Tourism, Republic of Azerbaijan;
H.E. Dr. Walter Mzembi, Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Zimbabwe;
Queen-Mother Ketcha Courtes, President, Network of Female Mayors of Africa (REFELA);
Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO and President, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA);
and Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)
and others.

Additional sessions and speakers will be announced in the weeks ahead.

We are proud to return to the City, Province and Nation that hosted the first major international Conference on Sustainable Tourism in 1994, the IIPT Global Conference: Building a Sustainable World through Tourism – particularly as 2017 is the 150th Birthday of Canada, 375th birthday of Montreal and as IIPT commemorates its 30th Anniversary year by returning to the place of its birth.

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Question related to this article:

How can tourism promote a culture of peace?

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The UNWTO – IIPT Global Summit website is open for registration at: Save Cdn $100 with early bird registration till 15 June.

Venue and ‘Official Hotel’ for the Global Summit is the prestigious Hotel Bonaventure in downtown Montreal, just minutes away from historic “Old Montreal” where you will experience the “Spirit of 375.”

The UNWTO – IIPT Global Summit will continue on Wednesday and Thursday, 20 and 21 September featuring success stories and models of best practice by leading professionals and practitioners in sustainable tourism; cultural tourism; sport for mutual understanding and peace; conflict resolution; environmental enhancement; poverty reduction; youth travel; volunteer travel; accessible travel for all; and other topics.

These will include sessions on Youth Travel, Travel for All, Volunteer Travel, Community Tourism, The Contribution of Sports, and other themes. Contributors in these sessions will include:

Sue Badyari, CEO, World Expeditions Group;
Richard Miller Executive Vice President, Resonance Consultancy;
Rachel Dodds, Director, Sustaining Tourism;
Brianda Lopez, Head of Programs, Standards & Sustainability – Hostelling International;
Nikki Rose, Founder, Crete’s Culinary Sanctuaries.
Maria de la Fuente, Co-Director of Peace Boat;
Megan Epler Wood, Director, International Sustainable Tourism Initiative, Harvard University;
David Adams, Founder and President, Culture of Peace News Network;
Steve De Voss, Founder and President, Global Sports Partners;
Diana McIntyre Pike, President, IIPT Caribbean Chapter
and others

Other leading edge practitioners and professionals interested in presenting their success stories and models of best practice are invited to write: with a copy to:

As with all previous IIPT International Conferences, beginning with the IIPT First Global Conference: Tourism – A Vital Force for Peace, Vancouver 1988 – the Montreal Global Summit will include a full day “Educators Forum” and full day Student/Youth Leadership Forum.

Educators wishing to present in the Educators Forum, 17 September are invited to email: with a copy to

Students/Youth Leaders wishing to present in the Student/Youth Leadership Forum are invited to email with a copy to

A special session is being held for the first time inviting organizers of travel and tourism conferences throughout the world to come together to share key outcomes and initiatives resulting from their respective conferences – and to explore avenues of collaboration with a view to achieving synergies and a greater global impact in support of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Interested conference organizers are invited to email: with a copy to

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