2008 Issue

Delegates from More than 40 Countries Contribute to
Outstanding Success of 1st IIPT European Conference

“Bridging the North-South Divide through
Sustainable Tourism Development”

Delegates from more than 40 countries took part in the 1st IIPT European Conference: “Bridging the North –South Divide through Sustainable Tourism Development” organized by IIPT in partnership with the U.N. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and the U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) and hosted by Stenden University.

The Conference, held in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, 21-24 October 2008, was in support of the U.N. Decade of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World and the U.N. Millennium Development Goals.

The exponential growth of international tourism arrivals from 25 million in 1950 to a projected 1 billion in 2010 is clearly one of the most remarkable economic and social phenomena of our time. An increasing proportion of these arrivals are in Developing Countries. Travel and tourism is currently the main source of foreign exchange for most developing countries and at US$ 200 billion annually is more than the total of foreign aid from all governments. Tourism appears to be one of the few economic sectors able to guide a number of developing countries to higher levels of prosperity and for some to leave behind their least developed country status.

The aim of the 1st IIPT European Conference was to build on this success, and to leverage current North – South, and South – South initiatives towards sustainable tourism development, poverty reduction, and societal betterment through greater collaboration among key stakeholders.

Both IIPT and Stenden University were gratified by the high quality of presentations during the Conference and the enthusiastic participation of some 200 delegates.


The Conference brought together Ministers of Tourism and senior executives from both the public and private sectors of tourism, European Union, U.N. Agencies, foundations, donor agencies, and NGOs, as well as educators, policy analysts, leading practitioners, entrepreneurs, future leaders of the industry, and senior representatives of related sectors including environment, culture, sport, and sustainable economic development.

Hightlights of Opening Ceremony

Conference delegates were welcomed by Dr. Martin Giesen and Dr. Klaas-Wybo van der Hoek, Vice-Presidents of Stenden University, Ms. Jannewietske de Vries, Provincial Deputy, Province of Fryslan, and IIPT Founder and President, Louis D’Amore with Professor Omar Moufakkir serving as Master of Ceremony.

Dr. Klaas-Wybo van der Hoek

Edmond BartlettThe Opening Ceremony Keynote address was delivered by Ms. Patricia Samuels, Attache, Tourism and Culture, on behalf of Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica. His presentation focused on the “Spruce Up Jamaica” Campaign – a strategy for sustainable tourism development based on developing human resources and talents and instilling a sense of pride among all Jamaicans.

Hon. Edmund Bartlett

Plenary Session I: Global Perspectives

Dr Noel Brown ModeratingDr. Noel Brown, Chairman, IIPT International Advisory Board, and President, Friends of the United Nations, moderated the 1st Plenary Session, “Global Perspectives on Bridging the North – South Divide: Sustainable Tourism Development and the U.N Millennium Development Goals.” Dr. Brown also Moderated two additional plenary sessions of the conference, adding his comments and perspectives as well to those of the distinguished Keynote Speakers in each session.

Hon. Gil da Costa Alves, Minister for Tourism, East-Timor, discussed the challenges facing East-Timor and the priority given to sustainable tourism with an emphasis on the importance of providing environmental and cultural safeguards ensuring that benefits accrue to local citizens.

Hon.Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Minister of Environment and Tourism, Namibia, spoke of the importance of tourism in achieving a more balanced image of Africa as well as reducing poverty, healing wounds of conflict and establishing peace. Namibia’s Nature Conservation Amendment Act of 1996 through which control, ownership, and use of plant and animal wildlife is given to communal area residents allowing communities to achieve economic benefits from the natural resources of the country.

Kathy Sudeikis, Past President, American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) and U.S. Travel Agent of the Year, spoke of the emphasis ASTA is placing on the environment and sustainable tourism through the ASTA Green Member Program. She emphasized the importance of educating travelers and providing ‘green’ options and the importance of travel as a catalyst of positive change, through the building of relationships, experience and understanding.

Hon. Gil da Costa Alves
Hon. Gil da Costa Alves

Hon. Netumbo Ndemupelila Nandi-Ndaithwah
Hon. Netumbo Ndemupelila Nandi-Ndaithwah

Kathy Sudeikis
Kathy Sudeikis

Plenary Session II: Achieving a Greater Societal ROI
Hon. Filippe Savadogo, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Communication, Burkina Faso, emphasized that “We should understand that the fight against poverty has to be done in partnership with the North.” He emphasized that this cooperation should be in financial, technical and educational fields and has to reinforce the living standards of the populations.

Dr. Vassilis Morfopoulos, Managing Director, Basic International Development Corp. (BIDC), spoke of the collateral benefits of tourism in developing and emerging economies including: economic diversification - infrastructure - education - public health - environmental conservation - cultural invigoration - development of social institutions that maximize the benefits of tourism - and the projection of host country and its culture on the world stage.

Mr. John Hummel introduced delegates to SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, and its role of poverty reduction through partnerships in tourism, illustrating the impacts of pro-poor tourism, market-based solutions and multi-stakeholder collaborations.

Hon. Filippe Savadogo

Dr. V. Morfopoulos

John Hummel

Plenary Session III: Social, Cultural and Sports Dimensions
Ms. Catherine Rubbens, Director, Responsible Business, The Rezidor Hotel Group S.A. outlined the success of her company’s Responsible Business programme which is dedicated to three main areas of responsibility: taking responsibility for the health and safety of employees and customers; respecting social and ethical issues in the company, and the community; and reducing the conpany’s negative impact on the environment. Through its World Childhood Foundation, The Rezidor Hotel Group, with 239 operating hotels in 44 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africais dedicated to serving the most vulnerable children in the world.

Dr. Ginger Smith, Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management presented a moving presentation on the value of sports – the Special Olympics – and its promotion of international dialogue and advancement of world peace. She said, “The support of and participation in sports can transcend political, socio-cultural, and economic barriers globally ….. as spectators and athletes come together on a larger scale than ever before.”

Mr. Abdul-Sahib Shakiri, Editor and Puablisher, Islamic Tourism Magazine spoke of the important role of tourism in facilitating dialogue and understanding among persons of different faiths and cultures and the communication role that the Islamic Tourism Magazine plays towards this end. Mr. Shakiri also spoke of his role in various charitable organizations and as well the Iraqi Charities Forum which he founded.

Catherine Rubbens
Catherine Rubbens
Dr. Ginger Smith
Dr. Ginger Smith

Abdul-Sahib Shakiri

Plenary Session IV: More Effective Models of Collaboration
Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi, Honorable Commissioner for Tourism and Inter-Governmental Relations, State Government of Lagos, Nigeria spoke of tourism as a global phenomenon, emphasizing that we “We are all connected to each other – and that Tourism helps us to come to know one another.”

Senator Afikuyomi spoke of the importance of tourism as an instrument of economic development – but that there was a need in Western Africa overall vision for tourism in and proceeded to outline issues facing Western Africa including the lack of direct air service; marketing, inadequate infrastructure, need for training, and “technical know-how,” strategic planning, and investment. These are all areas that can be improved through North – South and South-South collaboration.

Luigi Cabrini, Director, Sustainable Development, U.N. World Tourism Organization, emphasized the key role that tourism plays in poverty reduction, providing insight and specific examples of tourism’s contribution to poverty reduction and the needs of developing countries. Mr. Cabrini also outlined the specific initiatives and policies of the UN WTO including the ST-EP Program (Sustainable Tourism – Eliminating Poverty).

Janos Damon, Executive Director, Israel Hotel Managers Association and Founder, Tourism 4 Peace, stated that, “War is the enemy of tourism, but despite the conflicts and wars in the Middle East, tourism remains an important economic sector. Cooperation is required among Middle Eastern countries in a way tourism can be a catalyst for peace.

Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi

Luigi Cabrini

Janos Damon

Media Luncheon
A lively discussion took place during a special Media Luncheon among Bea Broda,
President, Society of American Travel Writers; Sandy Dhuyvetter, Executive Producer/Host, TravelTalk Media; and Hon. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Minister, Environment and Tourism, Republic of Namibia and Nelson Alcantara, Editor, eTurbo News. The panellists shared their views and exchanged ideas with delegates regarding the “Role of the Media in Bridging the North – South Divide through Sustainable Tourism Development.”

IIPT Media Panel Discussion

Plenary Session V: Educational Foundations
Plenary Session V featured leading educators discussing the educational foundations for “Bridging the North – South Divide through Sustainable Tourism Development.”

Dr. Myriam Jansen-Verbeke, Leuven University, Belgium, emphasized the importance of integrating cultural resources and intangible heritage into the tourism product and suggested several areas for research regarding the relationship of peace – tourism – and the characteristics of destinations.

Dr. Irena Ateljevic, Wageningen University, Netherlands presented her analysis of current literature regarding trends in a global paradigm shift towards a new era of humanity wherein there is an increased search for meaning in life and this paradigm shift is also shaping tourism, which in many respects is the most visible indicator of this shift towards “global citizenship.”

Dr. Dallen J. Timothy, Arizona State University, and Editor, Journal of Heritage Tourism, described the relationship between borders and tourism which often are themselves tourism attractions. in Borders which attract people are often anatomies in the landscape, traverse natural and cultural regions and themed attractions. As well, Dr. Timothy provided examples as to how Tourism can be a catalyst for cross border cooperation.

Dr. Myriam Jansen-Verbeke

Dr. Dallen Timothy

Dr. Irena Ateljevic

Concurrent Sessions
Concurrent sessions focused on sub-themes of the conference, and included case studies and models of “best practice” on the subjects of heritage, ecotourism, crisis management, technology, education, sports, borders, corporate responsibility and culture.

The concurrent session presentations by more than seventy leading practitioners and educators allowed participants to learn about current research and projects being conducted across all spectrums and countries. Presenters discussed tourism for peace perspectives in the countries of Australia, Russia, Nepal, Tanzania, Egypt, Cyprus, Israel, Nigeria, Senegal, Morocco, Mexico, Bosnia and Jamaica and other regions and countries of the world.

Additionally, many presentations focused on the broader scope of tourism on certain industries; for example, the promotion of renewable energies toward sustainable tourism and specific models of poverty reduction.

The scope of knowledge, experience, and specific case studies of ‘Success Stories’ and ‘Models of Best Practice’ provided participants a wide perspective of the issues pertaining to sustainable tourism development and in particular – the potential for poverty reduction and societal betterment in countries in developing countries through North - South and South – South collaboration.

Patricia Samuels asking question
Patricia Samuels asking question
Stenden Confab
Delegate Networking
Dr. Noel Brown and Lou D'Amore
Dr. Noel Brown and Lou D'Amore
Stenden Orchestra
Stenden University Orchestra

Thank you again!
IIPT would like to thank everyone who participated and contributed to the success of the 1st IIPT European Conference, and in particular our partners, the UN World Tourism Organization (UN WTO), and United Nations Environment Program (UNEP); our hosts, Stenden University, as well as the City of Leeuwarden and Province of Fryslan; our esteemed Keynote Speakers, and presenters of Success Stories/Models of Best Practice, as well as delegates who enthusiastically contributed to the lively discussions in all sessions.

The 1st IIPT European Conference built on the foundations of three Global Conferences: Vancouver, Canada 1988; Montreal, Canada 1994; Glasgow, Scotland, 1999; three Global Summits in Amman, Jordan 2000, Geneva, Switzerland 2003; and Pattaya, Thailand 2005; four African Conferences: Mpumalanga Province, South Africa 2001; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 2003; Lusaka, Zambia 2005; and Kampala, Uganda 2007; and other conferences and symposia in Italy, Turkey, Greece, Australia, the Caribbean, Pakistan, Israel, United States, and United Kingdom.

Web Resource
IIPT is currently gathering the remaining presentations, biographies, summaries and photographs of speakers for a Web resource as a vehicle to continue the important dialogue in “Bridging the North – South Divide through Sustainable Tourism Development and to engage others in the dialogue.


The International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) was again featured at World Travel Market on November 11th with a theme of:

Peace through Tourism: The Next Twenty Years

The November 11th date was particularly significant together with the symbolism of the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month as it was the precise 90th anniversary of the end of World War I – the “War to end all wars.”

Nine million people were killed in what has been called the “Great War.” Yet, as history has shown, another 100 million people were killed in the remaining 82 years of the 20th century as a result of conflict – most of them innocent men, women and children. We have begun this 21st Century with conflict that has now gone on longer than that first “Great War.”

The event began with a brief video featuring “Voices of the first 20 years” that included President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II, both of whom sent video-taped messages to the 1st IIPT Global Conference in Vancouver, 1988; Kind Abdullah II, Patron of the 1st Global Summit, Amman 2000; Harvey Golub, Chairman, American Express and World Travel & Tourism Council and others.

President Reagan
President Reagan
Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
King Abdullah II
King Abdullah II

Harvey Golub
Harvey Golub

Featured speakers who shared their insights, ideas, ideals – and vision on tourism’s contribution to peace in the next 20 years included: Ms. Fiona Jeffery, Chair, World Travel Market: Dr. Dawid de Villiers, Chairman, UN World Tourism Organization Strategic Group, and Special Adviser to the UNWTO Secretary-General on Ethical Matters; Ms. Janice Antonson, Chair, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA); Mr. Chris Russo, President and CEO, American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA); Ms. Michele McKenzie, Chair, Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC); Mr. Dennis Castleman, Vice President, Inter-governmental Affairs, Travel Industry Association of America (TIA); Ms. Hulya Aslantas, President, SKAL International; David Jones, Director General, World Youth, Student & Educational Travel Confederation (WYSE TC); Mr. Birger Bäckman, Senior Advisor, United Federation of Travel Agents’ Associations (UFTAA).

IIPT 20th Anniversary
2008 was also the 20th anniversary of the First Global Conference: Tourism – A Vital Force for Peace, Vancouver 1988 – giving us the basis for our theme –

Peace through Tourism: The Next Twenty Years

As well, November 8-11 was the precise 8th Anniversary of IIPT’s 1st Global Summit on Peace though Tourism, Amman 2000 and launch of the IIPT Global Peace Parks Program from Bethany Beyond the Jordan, site of Christ’s baptism, precisely on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, in the 1st year of the new Millennium.

Louis D'AmoreSupport for Olympic Truce Leading up to 2010 Winter Olympics
IIPT Founder and President, Louis D’Amore, used the occasion to announce that IIPT would seek to mobilize the global travel and tourism industry in support of the Olympic Truce leading up to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. His proposal received immediate enthusiastic endorsement by Ms. Michele McKenzie, Chair, Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) and other global leaders taking part in the event.

World Travel Market - IIPT Event

IIPT - Peace Through Commerce Conference


IIPT was proud to again partner with George Washington University’s Institute of Corporate Responsibility (ICR) as well as FLOW, an organization dedicated to creating sustainable peace through entrepreneurial spirit, and other leading organizations for a three-day "Peace Through Commerce" conference at George Washington University from November 13 to 15.

Leaders from major corporations, academia, and non-governmental organizations gathered to expand an emerging multi-sector alliance advancing the theory and practice that economic prosperity, opportunity, and freedom lead to widespread and sustainable peace.

Speakers including: Tim Fort, Executive Director of GW's Institute for Corporate Responsibility; Michael Strong, Chief Visionary Officer, FLOW; Carolyn Woo, Dean, Notre Dame University School of Business; and Louis D'Amore, Founder and President, International Institute for Peace Through Tourism; discussed harnessing the powerful role ethical commerce plays in fostering peace and called on business and governments to:

- Provide economic development to alleviate poverty;
- Follow rule-of-law protocols, including avoiding corruption, promoting reforms that protect property rights and contract rights, and supporting dispute-resolution institutions; and
- Foster a sense of community in business by being good corporate citizens, respecting employees, giving them a voice, promoting gender equity, and enabling employees to experience the consequences of and take responsibility for their actions.

Carolyn Woo

Dr. Tim L. Fort

Michael Strong

Louis D'Amore


Keynote speaker Steven Killelea, Global Peace Index (GPI) founder and Australian entrepreneur and philanthropist provided research demonstrating that per capita gross domestic product correlates strongly with peacefulness, and peace can be correlated with a company's international business activities. For every 10 places along the GPI, per capita income increases by approximately US$3,000, and retail expenditures increase in line with per capita income.
Steve Killelea

Walter Robb, President and Chief Operating Officer of Whole Foods Market, said, "Commerce plays an essential role in security, as efforts to promote economic freedom reap measurable rewards of peace and profits. The business sector must embrace a leadership role in promoting peace through economic opportunity, leading to new products, markets, and a world of possibility."
Walter Robb

Other prominent speakers included: H.E. Dr. Augustine P. Mahiga, Ambassador Extraordinaire and Permanent representative of the United Republic of Tanzania to the United Nations; Roger Dow, President, Travel Industry Association of America; Ritu Sharma Fox, Founder, Women Thrive Worldwide; Ambassador Shirin Tahir-Kheli, senior advisor for women's empowerment, U.S. Department of State; s; Melissa Powell, head, strategy and partnerships, UN Global Compact; John Sullivan, Executive Director, Center for International Private Enterprise; Michael Strong, Chief Visionary Officer, FLOW; Raymond Gilpin, Director of Economics and Conflict Center of Innovation, U.S. Institute of Peace

Conference proceedings will be presented as a multi-media course by the World Bank Institute and selected conference papers will be published in a special edition of The Journal of Business Ethics.

The conference was hosted by GW's Institute for Corporate Responsibility and organized in collaboration with ; FLOW, an organization dedicated to creating sustainable peace through entrepreneurial spirit, with support from the International Institute of Peace Through Tourism (IIPT); U.S. Institute of Peace; Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics; GW’s International Institute for Tourism Studies; the Center for International Business Education and Research; Global Peace Index; American Association of Colleges and Schools of Business (AACSB); and APCO Worldwide.

IIPT President Addresses Iran Tourism Conference

IIPT Founder and President Louis D’Amore this past week addressed delegates from 48 countries at the 1st International Tour Operators Conference in Tehran. The aim of the historic conference was to familiarize the high level delegates with Iran’s tourism attractions and to explore possibilities of strengthening ties through tourism.

Mr. D’Amore began his address acknowledging Iran as one of the world's oldest continuous civilizations, with historical and urban settlements dating back to 4000 BC and a land rich in history, science and technology, the arts, literature and culture. He suggested that with two thirds of its population under 25, Iran was a country with a great future.

Lou presenting at ITOA ConferenceMr. D’Amore recalled that ten years earlier, in 1998, then Iranian President Khatami – proposed “A Dialogue of Civilizations” with the aim of leaving behind a century of inequality, violence, and conflict, and with the intent of benefitting from the achievements and experiences of all civilizations to begin a new century of humanity, understanding, and durable peace. President Khatami’s proposal was subsequently adopted by the United Nations as the UN International Year for a Dialogue Among Civilizations 2001.

While President Khatami’s vision has had setbacks in the first years of the 21st century, Mr. D’Amore suggested there was now an opportunity to begin the dialogue anew – with travel and tourism playing a key role in its fulfillment.

He stated that “Humanity is currently witnessing - and shaping, the most rapid and significant paradigm shift in human history – a paradigm shift of major demographic, economic, ecological and geo-political dimensions.”

Mr. D’Amore briefly outlined the challenges of an exploding population – 90% of which is in developing countries; persistent poverty in certain regions of the world; ecological decline and climate change; economic disparities and the current economic crisis.

“To meet the challenges of the unprecedented global issues facing our one common home – and our one common future as a global family,” Mr. D’Amore stated, “would require a a global family at peace with itself – and a paradigm shift to collaboration at all levels, and by all sectors of society.”

“This human journey of collaboration can only begin by first building bridges of understanding between civilizations, cultures and religions.”

“Towards this end,” Mr. D’Amore concluded, “IIPT would give serious consideration to holding a conference in Iran with the aim of promoting “A Dialogue Among Civilizations through Tourism” in support of the 1998 proposal of President Khatami.

For the full text of Mr. D’Amore’s address, please click here.

Iran Vice President Rahim Mashaee (center) and other dignitaries

Tehran Symphony Orchestra

2009 World Peace Tours Announced

The International Institute for Peace through Tourism is most pleased to announce its World Peace Tours Program for 2009 with 8 exciting tours to different regions of the world. The tours were recently highlighted at TheTradeShow in Orlando building on the recent partnership agreement between ASTA and IIPT.

The eight tours are especially crafted to reinforce IIPT’s dedication to “making Travel and Tourism the world’s first Global Peace Industry” with the belief “that every traveler is potentially an ‘Ambassador for Peace’”. Each of the tours are designed with significant interaction with the people and cultures of each destination and exemplifying IIPT’s ideals and values as expressed in the ‘IIPT Credo of the Peaceful Traveler.’

Donald KingLou D’Amore, the president of IIPT has asked Donald King, who serves as Ambassador at Large for IIPT, to provide leadership to the World Peace Tours initiative. King says, “Our first World Peace Tours—to Oman and to Bhutan--proved successful in achieving the goals of IIPT, and exhibiting at TheTradeShow has been a positive experience in helping us as we expand our tour offerings.”

Don King

Seven tours for 2009 have currently been designated as “World Peace Tours”:
• Jordan
• Bhutan
• Algeria/Tunisia
• South Africa
• Arabian Peninsula
• Central America
• Armenia
• Iran

For specific information about these itineraries Please click here

Travel agents are invited to collaborate with IIPT in promoting these tours to their clients and to earn commissions from sale of the tours. King says, “This will be an opportunity for agents to earn a commission and also help promote conscientious tourism. We would like to enlist travel agents’ assistance as we continue efforts to make travel and tourism the world’s first global peace industry.”

About IIPT

The International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) is a not for profit organization dedicated to fostering travel and tourism initiatives that contribute to international understanding and cooperation, an improved quality of environment, the preservation of heritage, and poverty reduction; and through these initiatives, helping to bring about a peaceful and sustainable world.  It is founded on a vision of the world’s largest industry, travel and tourism – becoming the world’s first global peace industry; and the belief that every traveler is potentially an “Ambassador for Peace.”

For more information:
IIPT Website:
Tel: (802) 253-2658
Fax: (802) 253-2645

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