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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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,
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 email@example.com
or me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Corniche Travel Group
Speaker, Plenary Session II, Second Global Summit Geneva, Switzerland