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Culture of Peace Tourism in Africa
an article by CPNN interviewer

To learn about culture of peace tourism in Africa, we interviewed Lou D'Amore, Founder and President of the International Institute of Peace through Tourism.

Dr. Patrick Kalifungwa, the Vice Chancellor of Livingstone International University of Tourism Excellence and Business Management (and former Zambian Minister of Tourism) awards an honorary degree to Lou D’ Amore

click on photo to enlarge

CPNN. Over the years CPNN has reported on a number of conferences and initiatives that you have helped develop in Africa, including:

* The Fourth African Conference on Peace through Tourism in Kampala, Uganda in 2007;

* The 5th IIPT African Conference in Zambia in 2011 with the first ever Indigenous Tourism Leaders Forum;

* The Lusaka Declaration, adopted at the Zambia conference in 2011

* The re-dedication of IIPT Peace Park Featured on the Opening Day of UNWTO General Assembly in Zambia in 2013;

I guess there were other such conferences in Africa prior to 2007.

Lou D'Amore. Yes, The first African conference was held in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa in 2001. The second one, in December, 2003, took place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, dedicated to poverty reduction through tourism. The third, in Lusaka, Zambia, February, 2005, adopted a 21st Century Vision for African Tourism. And, of course, there are followup actions, such as "peace parks" that are developed after each of these conferences.

CPNN. And now, as we recently reported, you will be organizing a major symposium in South Africa next February. Can you tell us more about it?

Lou D'Amore. The symposium represents the achievement of IIPT’s mission of the past thirty years, to put sustainability and culture of peace on the agenda of the entire tourism industry. The symposium is dedicated to Cultivating Sustainable and Peaceful Communities and Nations Through Tourism, Culture and Sports, and will be addressed by the head of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, which represents ministers of tourism from the entire world, and the head of the World Travel and Tourism Council which represents the CEO's of the major industries of tourism such as airlines, hotels and travel agencies. To register for the IIPT World Symposium: Cultivating Sustainable and Peaceful Communities and Nations through Tourism, Culture and Sport, please visit Early bird registration is available til Friday, December 12.

CPNN. Are other African countries, in addition to those mentioned here, involved in culture of peace tourism?

Lou D'Amore. Indeed, this is becoming a priority throughout Africa. For example, at our recent session at the World Travel Market, we heard speakers from Rwanda and Tunisia, among others. The Head of Tourism and Conservation for the Rwanda Development Board, painted an inspiring picture of the role tourism has played in bringing once warring communities in Rwanda together. Rwanda’s new program puts five percent of tourism revenue back into the local economies and building schools, health clinics, social programs, and contributing generally to socio-economic development. As she said, “It takes leadership that understands that you need to put power back into our communities and help them understand the value of protecting wildlife… the value of tourism. No peace, no tourism.”


Question(s) related to this article:

How can tourism promote a culture of peace?,

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Why tourism?

Can tourism be seen as an instrument to achieve complicity between people’s minds?

“There is nothing better that connects two people’s mind than a good conversation” The above quote could be used to describe the effect which tourism has on people. Like a great conversation, tourism could be said to play a vital role amongst people all over the world. It fosters communication in all its senses, intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding.  

In today’s world it is evident that there is a shortage of moral or ethical values amongst people across the different nations in this world, resulting in a globalised world lacking these morals and ethical values. Ignorance, the failure to consider the needs of others, and selfishness are a few of the ways which hinder us from embracing diversity and a common human perspective, which  would result informal empathy, internal moral compassion, tolerance of differences, historical consciousness and interpretation. The above mentioned features are intrinsic, inherent and can be found in the practice of tourism.

Tourism has been emphasized as one of the most effective instruments which continue to tackle to tackle social and economical poverty, as well as encourage the culture of peace practice amongst people. In looking at the UN architecture, one is able to see the growing implications which the tourism sector has on the world and world policies. . ...more.

This report was posted on November 27, 2014.