How can tourism promote a culture of peace?

Here are remarks by Liliana Mota on October, 2013 in response to this question:

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. The touristic phenomenon has achieved a world record of 5% of world’s GDP contribution and is responsible for 235 millions jobs, according to the UNWTO’s data. Often the tourism sector counts more than 20% of the countries’ GDP.

On the negative side of this, it is evident that tourism focuses on economical matters, depriving any focus on the global implications of the constant interaction tourism encourages.

In the literal sense, tourism is nothing more or less than people meeting with the willingness to understand each other’s differences and point of view and simultaneously creating the opportunity for dialogue, mutual understanding and peace to take place.

Apart from tourism, various factors could be seen to play a role in encouraging integration and diversity amongst societies across the world. For example, the cultural segment has played an essential source of people’s integration and inclusiveness in developing countries.

Education has also played a significant role in encouraging integration, and incorporation amongst people all over the world. Education has been reconsidered and proposed to being the catalyst for exchange between countries, cultures and sectors, and most importantly for enhancing the lives of people by granting them the opportunity to leave their poverty stricken lives and societies in exchange a for better future which includes job and exchange opportunities.

In the tourism world, differences play the most essential role, differences among people represents the added-value. Being different is always a positive factor that usually motivates and encourages people to get to move and engage with each other and embrace the differences with the use of spiritual, religious and cultural meanings.

This notion of tourism needs to be addressed in multilateral governance discussions, where all the main actors, the international community, the ministerial and experts, private sector, local institutions and civil society engages are all present, and are all willing to work together in combined efforts and initiatives (from poverty alleviation to the promotion of awareness of sustainable development addressing special needs like regional development, urban planning and protection of natural and cultural landscapes). This combined approach of working at the local level within communities and at the national and international level, in order to reach and engage the poor, has been considered as potentially being the “one possible and effective answer” and effective approach towards the world’s poorest areas where it can make a difference.

This discussion question pertains to the following articles

Colombia: With the “Tourism for a culture of peace” strategy, the Government of Change will invest $8.2 billion to boost tourism in 88 territories

Peace Through Tourism had a Family Meeting with You included

Cameroon: A radio station for the protection of the Waza biosphere reserve

Colombia: Impulse Travel – Sustainable tourism committed to Peace

Kazakh capital to host 2019 UNWTO Urban Tourism Global Summit on SDGs

Peace through Tourism: Celebrating Her Awards

African Union: Tourism sector supports about 21 million jobs in Africa

China Pu’er Sun River National Park dedicated as IIPT Peace Park

UNESCO and UNWTO Sign Muscat Declaration on Tourism and Culture: Fostering Sustainable Development

Puebla, Mexico: Cultural tourism needs more spaces and collectivity

Nigeria: Tourism, way out of recession

Colombia: Tourism in post-conflict zones, another contribution to peace

Colombia: Turismo en zonas de posconflicto, otra apuesta a favor de la paz

2017 Año Internacional del Turismo Sostenible para el Desarrollo

2017 Année Internationale du Tourisme Durable pour le Développement

2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development

Angola protects wildlife, turns to ecotourism to diversify economy

Spain: World Summit on Sustainable Tourism

India: New Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT)

First UN conference on tourism and culture opens in Cambodia, seeks to build partnerships

The Contribution of Transfrontier Peace Parks to Peace in Southern Africa

Peace Through Tourism by Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of UNWTO

Peace through Tourism by David Scowsill, President and CEO of WTTC

Sudan Celebrates World Tourism Day in Support of Culture of Peace, Unity

International Alliance of Indigenous Tourism Leaders

IIPT and UNWTO to partner in peace through tourism

UN agency welcomes General Assembly’s adoption of resolution on ecotourism

Culture of Peace though Tourism in Kosovo

Re-dedication of IIPT Peace Park Featured Opening Day of UNWTO General Assembly (Zambia)

Middfest International: Promotes Peace & Understanding

The International Institute for Peace through Tourism 25th Anniversary at World Travel Market

UNESCO strengthens cooperation with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

International Institute for Peace through Tourism: Collaborating Universities

National Geographic rates the Abraham Path the #1 New Walking Trail in the World!

IPT World Symposium: Cultivating Sustainable and Peaceful Communities and Nations Through Tourism, Culture and Sports

Culture of Peace Tourism in Africa

The Abraham Path

Fourth African Conference of International Institute of Peace through Tourism