The International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) proudly commemorated the 25th anniversary of its First Global Conference: Tourism – A Vital Force for Peace, Vancouver 1988 on the Platinum stage at World Travel Market. The commemoration was in support of the “Great War” Centenary with its theme of “No More War.”
Featured speakers included key leaders of the travel and tourism industry who shared their perspectives on “Building a Culture of Peace through Tourism” and in support of the World War I Centenary theme: “No More War.” Speakers included: Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, UNWTO Secretary General; David Scowsill, President, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC); Mok Singh, Immediate Past President, Skal International; and Geoffrey Lipman, President, International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP), and Martin Craigs, President, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
Mr. Peter De Wilde, CEO of Visit Flanders, made a special presentation on the launch of the WWI Centenary in Flanders. As well, award winning singer-songwriter, Alston Koch sang his song on Climate Change.
IIPT Founder and President said, “IIPT was proud to support the Great War Centenary with its theme of ‘No More War’ – and to have the foremost leaders of the travel and tourism industry speaking in support of ‘Building a Culture of Peace through Tourism.’
Co- moderators for the event were Fiona Jeffery OBE - Former Chairman, World Travel Market and Founder and Chairman, Just a Drop; and Anita Mendiratta, Founder & Managing Director, CACHET Consulting.
The 25th Anniversary commemorative event also honored individuals and organizations who have substantially contribution to promoting a ‘Culture of Peace through Tourism’ and further advancing IIPT’s vision of travel and tourism becoming the world’s first global peace industry – an industry that promotes and supports the belief that every traveler is potentially and ‘Ambassador for Peace.’
Rural Education and Development (READ) Global
Airline Ambassadors International
IUCN – UIAA Summit Team
Peace Trees Vietnam
The 1988 Vancouver Conference was a watershed event for the travel and tourism industry introducing for the first time the concept of Sustainable Tourism, four years prior to the Rio Summit - and a new “higher purpose of tourism” paradigm that includes the key role of travel and tourism in:
- Promoting international understanding
- Collaboration among nations
- Protecting the environment and preserving biodiversity
- Enhancing cultures and valuing heritage
- Sustainable development for all
- Poverty reduction and
- Reconciliation and healing wounds of conflict
IIPT South Asia Panel
Results in Key Outcomes
The IIPT South Asia panel at World Travel Market resulted in two key outcomes:
An offer to host the next IIPT Conference and commitments on the part of Skal India and Skal Pakistan to host alternating conferences in each country with the aim of collaborating in promoting tourism and friendship between their two countries.
The South Asia panel featured both public and private sector tourism industry leaders sharing their views on promoting regional collaboration towards sustainable tourism, friendship and peace. Featured speakers were: Mr. Thuji D. Nadik, Acting Director General, Tourism Council of Bhutan; Mr. Ghulam Ahmed Mir, Honorable Minister of Tourism, Jammu & Kashmir, India; Mr. Sushil Ghimire, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Tourism & Civil Aviation, Nepal; Mr. Zia Haider Rizvi, Skal Pakistan, and Chairman, Scandia Limited; and Carl Vaz, Skal India, and Chairman & CEO of Charson Advisory Services Pvt Ltd. Geoffrey Lipman, President, International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) moderated the panel.
In his featured talk, Hon. Mr. Ghulam Ahmed Mir, Minister of Tourism, Jammu and Kashimr, India stated that his Ministry is “quite keen to be a part of UNWTO's Silk Road Program and is willing to collaborate with regional partners and further the cause of tourism and sustainability and the promotion of peace through tourism in the Great Silk Route.”
In closing, The Honorable Minister offered to host the next IIPT Conference in Jammu and Kashmir
Mr. Thuji D. Nadik, Bhutan and Mr. Sushil Ghimire, Nepal agreed with Hon. Ghulam Ahmed Mir on the need for further collaboration in the region and the importance of tourism both to the economy and building bridges of friendship and collaboration.
India – Pakistan Cross Border Travel
Mr. Zia Haider Rizvi emphasized the importance of “Societal interaction and the movement of people across territorial boundaries, cultural and sport exchanges for building enduring friendship, partnerships and peace among states.” He also stated that “The most powerful method to improve relations between Pakistan and India is to promote individual and group tourism. Let the people enjoy the shared historical, cultural and linguistic heritage on both sides of the India-Pakistan border. They will quickly come close to each other. Such a positive environment will also contribute to improving trade and economic relations that will in turn increase visits and tourism.”
Similarly, Mr. Carl Vaz, representing Skal India suggested that Skal India and Skal Pakistan agree to organize a conference in India – reciprocated by a subsequent conference in Pakistan to develop strategies and action plans towards promoting tourism, cultural and sport exchanges between India and Pakistan. Both Mr. Rizvi and Mr. Vaz agreed to take on leadership roles to implement these initiatives.
IIPT Caribbean to Host Community Tourism
Conference and Study Tour
IIPT Caribbean, in association with the Countrystyle Community Tourism Network/Villages as Businesses, LetsDoitinTheCaribbean.com and their Tourism partners will host a Community Tourism Conference and Study Tour to be held at the
Mandeville Hotel, Manchester, Jamaica, November 18 – 23, 2013.
The Conference/Study Tour will host 20 Caribbean leaders from Eastern Caribbean countries and others from Jamaica, USA, Canada and Europe that will showcase the rich cultural heritage of Jamaica’s villages. Theme of the conference and study tour is:
Sustaining & Transforming Communities through Tourism Entrepreneurship.
Experiencing “Countrystyle” community tourism in Jamaica
Leaders from six community villages have been selected for training under the Jamaica Social Investment Fund/Rural Economic Development Initiative (JSIF/REDI). These are: Resource (Manchester); Treasure Beach (St. Elizabeth); Beeston Spring (Westmoreland); Axe & Adze (Hanover); Albert Town (Trelawny) and Charles Town (Portland). These villages and others, including the Rastafari Indigenous Village, will be attending as delegates.
IIPT Founder and President, Louis D’Amore will be participating in the Conference/Study tour and together with participating community leaders, will visit five villages in Jamaica. He will also preside over the official launch of the IIPT/SKAL Peace Villages Program which will include, but not be limited to: Brooks Park (Mandeville); Canoe Valley (South Manchester); Treasure Beach Sports Park, Beeston Spring Park (Westmoreland) and Rastafari Indigenous Village (St. James).
Mr. D’Amore will also keynote the Opening Session of the Sustaining & Transforming Communities through Tourism Entrepreneurship Conference on November 21. His keynote address will highlight IIPT’s 25th anniversary legacy projects which include the re-dedication of the IIPT International Peace Park at Victoria Falls, Zambia this past September. The re-dedication was the featured event on Opening Day of the UNWTO General Assembly with Dr. Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary General; Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, Zambia’s first President, and King Mukuni of the Leya people on whose land Victoria Falls is located, all participating. A total of 19 Jamaican and Caribbean villages participated simultaneously in dedicating Peace Villages in their respective countries on September 24, day of the re-dedication.
In his keynote address at the 2003 Jamaica Community Tourism Conference, IIPT President D’Amore branded Jamaica as the “Home of Community Tourism”. And this past year, IIPT International responded positively to the IIPT Caribbean’s request to brand the “Caribbean as Home of Community Tourism” in the anticipated expansion of Community Tourism throughout the Caribbean with the leadership of IIPT Caribbean President, Diana McIntyre Pike, who is also President/Founder of the Countrystyle Community Tourism Network/Villages as Businesses program.
Over the past year, national consultations on “Community-Based Niche Tourism” were conducted by Diana McIntyre under the Tourism component of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Economic Integration Action Plan. The consultations focused on development, promotion and delivery of sustainable community tourism products and were conducted in St. Lucia, Grenada, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Dominica, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts & Nevis, Anguilla, Montserrat & British Virgin Islands.
Community Tourism Entrepreneurship training Antigua
South African Peace Towns make Progress in
Building a Culture of Peace
Several IIPT/Skal Peace Towns have been dedicated in South Africa including the ‘diamond town’ of Cullinan, Rayton, Refilwe, Overwacht. Lethabong, Phumzile Park and the Dinokeng Game Reserve. Each are in the process of developing a culture of peace and social cohesion.
Program initiatives have included:
Student Essay Contest
Senior high school students from two schools, Chipa-Tabane and Cullinan Combined School were challenged to write an essay sharing their vision and insights in support of their towns/villages becoming “Peace Towns/Village.” Authors of the best essay were chosen from each school. Winners of the essay contest were Albertina Mhlongo, from Chipa-Tabane; and Tshegofatso Odell Lebethe , of Cullinan Combined School. Each receiveed a US$ 100 scholarship award to assist with their future studies.
A Safety House for abused children has been established caring for 17 children aged 6 to 19.
Peace Vegetable Garden
Zonderwater Correctional Services led the initiative to establish a peace vegetable garden at the Chokoe Primary School. Piles of rubble were removed and replaced with a fertile and bountiful garden that provides fresh vegetables for the children of the school.
Peace through Art South Africa
Award winning artist Norbert Schling, Studio 14 and Roland Rohrs have successfully launched Visual Art Exhibitions in Cullinan, drawing many visitors to the area while supporting and training local artists.
Dinokeng Game Reserve
Dinoleng Game Reserve has as its focus “peace through conservation and protection of wildlife.”
DGR also supports community development initiatives.
Young Peterson Mahlangu, founder of Fundani Tours has created a “Community Peace Tour” to Refilwe and Cullinan that provides an authentic village experience for the visitor including local culture and history, visits with local story tellers, NGO’s, churches and an introduction to the welcoming spirit of Refilwe and Cullinan residents.
Economic Development – Rayton
Mari Botha, Chairperson of the Rayton Business Forum is marketing Rayton as a peace town and seeking to create employment through property development and to enhance community tourism.
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.”