2009 Issue


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.


2009 World Peace Tours Announced

1The 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

3Seven 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.”


Bhutan Banner

World Peace Tour To the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan
April 22 to May 2, 2009

Please join Sacred Himalaya Travel for the 2nd IIPT World PeaceTour to Bhutan. Deeply informed by Buddhist beliefs and values, the Bhutanese practice kindness and compassion as a way of life.

Uniquely governed for “Gross National Happiness” Bhutan is under the guidance of a wise King who balances material with spiritual development. You sense from the moment you land, that this tiny Kingdom is cared for with respect, where you’ll hear only the mountain wind, fluttering prayer flags, a soft rush of rivers and the frequent laughter of its people.

Yoezerling studentsTucked into the folds of the rugged Eastern Himalayas--blessed with some of the world's highest and youngest mountains, glacial lakes, and an intricate network of deep forests rich with life--Bhutan is one of the world's most beautiful , environmental jewels.

The World Peace Tour to Bhutan combines a cultural tour with stays in lodges and an overnight with a Bhutanese family in their traditional farmhouse. Focused in the Bumthang area, with its gentle wide valleys and ancient spiritual sites, we’ll take easy day hikes along a sparkling river and climb a gentle trail under tall pines to visit a small nunnery.. Share stories and songs with young students at a primary school in the high rural valley of Tang. We’ll meet with a Lama and listen to his insights and wisdom. Keeping a flexible schedule, experience the gentleness and good humor of Bhutan’s warm-hearted people and take time to receive and share kindness along the way.

This journey offers participants a deep inner and outer experience of peace. May it ripple further into the world on your return.

The Tour is organized by Sacred Himalaya Travel as part  of IIPT's World Peace Tours program Please see article below regarding  Sacred Himalaya Travel.

2nd Annual World Peace Tour to The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan
April 22 to May 2, 2009

Outline Itinerary
Day 1: Bangkok to Paro , Welcome celebration , Paro Dzong, Farmhouse stay
Day 2: To Thimphu – Kindness/Peace -Dharma talk with Lama, Thimphu sights
Day 3: To Punakha,-sunrise Dochula pass, visit Chimi Lhakang
Day 4: To Trongsa- ‘Palace of Pure Bliss Dzong Trongsa Dzong
Day 5 To Bumthang – Relax , River Lodge, Evening free to stroll town
Day 6 Day hike Bumthang , picnic with local villagers…
Day 7: Tang valley Primary School visit, Visit Nunnery
Day 8: Bumthang Phobjikha Black Neck Cranes
Day 9: Phobjikha-Thimphu
Day 10: Thimphu Paro –Hike to Taksang, Farewell Celebration
Day 11 Depart for Bangkok

For a detailed itinerary and tour costs please write: wendyerd@sacredhimalayatravel.com

Sacred Himalaya Travel

Bhutanese Owner/Guide
Tshetem NorbuTshetem Norbu is a gentle soul who embodies Buddhist ethics,integrity and great good humor. Originally from Eastern Bhutan, Tshetem owns and operates Sacred Himalaya Travel in Bhutan.

Since 1995 he has been a professional guide leading tours and treks throughout Bhutan. He brings a deep knowledge of the cultural, religious and natural history of his country. He’s also a great birder. He was awarded a National Outdoor Leadership scholarship to the USA and graduated from rigorous training in 2005. He lives with his wife and two children in Thimphu.Dagala Summit

Tour Agent / Trip Leader
Wendy ErdWendy Erd has traveled over the past several years in Bhutan, and shares a deep love of Bhutanese wisdom and ways. Working with Tshetem as Sacred Himalaya Travel of Alaska, LLC, she brings over 25 years experience of traveling and staying in small villages in Asia, a rough and tumble adaptability as a former Alaskan salmon fisherman, and her daily life as an expat in Asia, to help arrange tours, and smooth the unexpected. As a trip leader, she seeks opportunities for the small moments of humor and grace when travelers can experience the extraordinary connecting with the ordinary lives of others.

She currently lives between Hanoi, Vietnam , Yunnan, China and Homer, Alaska where she works helping communities tell their stories in print and video documentaries.

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

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: www.iipt.org
Tel: (802) 253-2658
Fax: (802) 253-2645
Email: info@iipt.org

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