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Copyright 1999-2007

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Dear Friends:

In February I was honored to be a keynote speaker at the Global Summit on Peace through Tourism held in Geneva, Switzerland, February 5-8. The gathering proudly included numerous heads of state; prime ministers; ministers of tourism, security and other branches of governments, and travel and tourism leaders from many countries throughout the world.

In addition, the conference was held in the shadow of the United Nations facility in Geneva thereby attracting many ambassadors representing many additional countries with an interest in our topic. In honor of the strategies we discussed for peace, I am making this the subject of my comments to you now.

We have all been completely overwhelmed with sentiments on war and terrorism. Let us - for the moment at least - focus on a better, more positive future for us all.

What role can you or I - each of us with the freedom and means to travel - play in building a culture of peace in the world? Some people think the question is simplistic and meaningless...that we travel for our own purposes, for business or pleasure. But can't our purposes include our interest in other people and other places to the point of caring what happens to them? How their lives and livelihoods effect ours? How many of you have been somewhere on this planet - other than the major capitols of the world - and come home to suddenly pay more attention to the stories about that particular place?

If you have visited Cambodia surely the people there touched your heart. Did you see the killing fields? It's considered a tourist attraction. But it will change your lives to see it. Suddenly the stories of the Khmer Rouge take on a whole new meaning.

What about Africa? Have you had a safari in Kenya. Tanzania or Zimbabwe (the greatest travel experience on earth)? Do you read more about eastern and southern Africa now than you ever would have before? Been to Macchu Pichu? What about the changes in Peru these days? Have you experienced the awe of Petra? Did you know the Israelis and the Jordanians are working together to open the Spice Route in the Middle East...in conjunction with the Palestinian Territories? We don't see many stories about that, do we?

Tourism is now considered by most countries a leveler in the balance of trade. Some countries, like Japan, even issue passports to its people based on trade balances. Most countries in the world have Ministers of Tourism to oversee the benefits of the major economic impact of the tourism dollar on their quality of life.

They work to enhance tourism and improve their travel "product". They understand that "getting to know you" means more now than ever before.So when the time comes to go beyond visiting the beautiful beaches of Hawaii or Mexico or the French Riviera, think about the extraordinary role you can play as a representative of your nation, as a visitor with a mission to get to know and care about the people you are about to meet.

Some people want to go a step further. For this reason there are now numerous programs throughout the world called Volunteer Vacations, where any individual can spend anywhere from one or two weeks to one or two years in the country of their choice, doing volunteer work for the betterment of the children and people of that land. And carry back to your home-town communities stories of your personal experience to help build a better, more-caring society.

We are only touching on a very large subject here. Anyone wanting more information about the International Institute of Peace through Tourism (IIPT) can contact Louis D'Amore at iipt@together.net or me at anastasia@corniche.com.

When we all care about our fellow man, woman and child - not just our fellow "countrymen" - the world will indeed be on the road to peace. May we all have the opportunity to travel that road.

Anastasia Mann
Chairman
Corniche Travel Group

Keynote Speaker, Plenary Session II, Second Global Summit Geneva, Switzerland

Copyright 1999-2007
International Institute for Peace Through Tourism