IIPT Commemorates 25th
The International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) proudly commemorated the 25th anniversary of its First Global Conference: Tourism – A Vital Force for Peace at this year’s ITB. The IIPT 25th anniversary event was in support of the “World War I Centenary” with its theme of “No More War”.
Featured speakers included: Zoltan Somogyi, Executive Director, Programme & Coordination, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); Thomas Steinmetz, Chairman, International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP), and Publisher, eTurbo News; Elke Dens, Marketing Director, Visit Flanders; Ivy Chee, Regional Director, East Asia, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA); Nigel Pilkington, Director, Public Relations & Communications, Skal International; Cordula Wohlmuther, UNWTO and Peace Centre at the University in Klagenfurt, Austria; and Mr. Sushil Ghimire, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Tourism & Civil Aviation, Nepal and Chairman, Nepal Tourism Board. The event was moderated by Sandy Dhuyvetter, Executive Producer and Host, TravelTalkRADIO, BusinessTravelRADIO and TravelTalkTELEVISION.
Speakers shared their perspectives on “Building a Culture of Peace through Tourism.”
Zoltan Somogyi, Executive Director, Program & Coordination, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); Mr. Somogyi emphasized that the idea of peace itself is at the core of UNWTO’s mission and that its guiding policy document, the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, clearly states that through the “direct contacts it engenders between men and women of different cultures and lifestyles, tourism represents a vital force for peace and a factor of friendship and understanding among the peoples of the world”.
For this reason UNWTO attaches much importance to the work of IIPT supporting it from the very beginning, since its First Global Conference in Vancouver in 1988 and has been a partner with IIPT in all its major conferences including the most recent 5th African Conference in Zambia on tourism and climate change.
He stated that UNWTO and IIPT are indeed built upon the same core principles in promoting tourism’s higher purpose – as an instrument of socio-economic growth and development, poverty alleviation, and environmental and cultural preservation.
As more and more people travel to the far corners of the earth, the role of tourism as a peacemaker is becoming increasingly important. Tourism breaks down barriers across cultures and fosters tolerance, respect and mutual understanding among peoples and cultures – values that lie at the very heart of tourism. In a world struggling for peaceful coexistence, these values are integral to a more peaceful future. Indeed, political tensions may be overcome in the light of the huge economic benefits that tourism brings.
The wide range of commemorative events scheduled for 2014 through 2018 related to the First World War Centenary with its theme “No More War,” as well as commemorations of the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, and the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 year ago each give testimony to the universal desire for peace.
Mr. Somogyi stated that UNWTO and IIPT have recently signed an agreement that further strengthens our collaboration in promoting a culture for peace through tourism.
Thomas Steinmetz, Chairman, International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) and Publisher, eTurbo News (eTN).
Thomas also thanked Louis for the opportunity to announce the launch of ICTP at the IIPT Fifth African Conference in Lusaka, Zambia – and for accepting a role in ICTP as the first Advisory Board Member. He also recalled how both himself and Louis were privileged to be the only two American keynote speakers at an international tourism conference in Iran.
Thomas praised Louis for his to commitment to Peace through Tourism of many years and encouraged more countries to support IIPT’s initiatives as countries such as Canada, Scotland Jordan, South Africa, Tanzania, Switzerland, Uganda, Thailand and Zambia have in the past.
All sectors of the tourism industry agree with the importance of building a “Culture of Peace through Tourism” – he encouraged more individuals and organizations to step forward in supporting IIPT in its important initiatives as partners and with funding.
Ivy Chee, Regional Director, East Asia, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA);
Ms. Chee spoke on behalf of PATA, but also for her generation who embrace tourism as an industry that can help bring more peace and understanding. PATA envisions a world of responsible tourism in which every stakeholder is responsible for sustaining and enhancing the development of travel and tourism industry and everyone can be an ambassador for peace.
She stated that the growth of tourism, is about building a relationship with the place you are visiting - with the local culture, with the natural environment and with the people who live there.
In support of building a culture of peace through tourism, PATA is launching a campaign “PATA Love.” As well, The PATA Foundation established since 1985 has contributed more than USD1 million in 29 countries with 118 community projects and 104 scholarships.
Under the leadership of CEO Martin Craigs, the PATA Next Gen. project is reaching out to youth with 11 student chapters across Asia; an annual PATA Youth Forum; and an ambitious internship associate programme at PATA HQ.
Ivy shared her personal travel experiences “that travel often means encounter with the unknown and the unfamiliar. Such encounters allow us to learn about each other and understand each other better. One thing I found in my travels is that people always have a thirst for love, care, peace and desire for a better tomorrow. When we come home from travel, we look at our surroundings differently. I hope we are here to look ahead to the future of our sector with an opportunity to join heads, hands and voices to continue striving ahead to build a culture of peace through tourism.”
Nigel Pilkington, Director of Public Relations & Communications, Skal International
Skal’s vision is to be a trusted voice in travel and tourism. Towards this end, Skal International is an Affiliate Member of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); has adopted the Global Code of Ethics in Tourism; is a sponsor to the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from exploitation in tourism; supports ST-EP (Sustainable Tourism-Eliminating Poverty); and has developed and hosts the “Sustainable Tourism Awards.”
Skal is also a full partner with the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT). This partnership has the goal of establishing 450 Peace Towns and Villages by the end of September 2014, and 2,000 globally by Armistice Day – 11th November 2018. Each Peace Town and Village will be committed to building a culture of peace in their respective communities.
Skal is also working on other projects with IIPT including a Skal Ambassador Programme whereby IIPT and Skal partner is assisting developing countries establish their travel and tourism infrastructure via senior and retired Skal members donating their time to assist these countries through short term consultancy agreements.
Cordula Wohlmuther, UNWTO and Peace Centre at the University in Klagenfurt, Austria
She also credited IIPT with the launch of the “Peace through Tourism Movement” and for the field of tourism and peace being as advanced as it is today.
Mr. Sushil Ghimire, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Tourism & Civil Aviation, Nepal and Chairman, Nepal Tourism Board
Origins of IIPT and First Global Conference
IIPT was born in response to the global issues of the mid-1980’s: the escalating arms race of the Cold War together with increased East-West tensions; the growing gap between have and have not regions of the world; a deteriorating environment; early signs of climate change; and the peaking of terrorism – most of it at the time aimed at the travel and tourism industry.
Eight hundred delegates from 67 countries participated in the First IIPT Global Conference: Tourism – A Vital Force for Peace in Vancouver 1988 in what was a watershed event for the travel and tourism industry. The Vancouver Conference introduced for the first time the concept of Sustainable Tourism – four years prior to the Rio Summit. It also introduced a new paradigm of tourism – A “Higher Purpose of Tourism” paradigm that places emphasis on the role of 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.
This ‘Higher Purpose’ of tourism paradigm, with its capacity to generate social, cultural, economic, environmental and political benefits, is now broadly recognized and has gained acceptance at the highest levels.
The Vancouver Conference was the genesis of several other IIPT achievements to follow in the years ahead including development of the world’s first Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Sustainable Tourism and the first international study of Models Best Practice – Tourism and Environment. The IIPT Credo of the Peaceful Traveler has been distributed to persons and organizations throughout the world and also re-produced in guide books, text books, articles and other publications and from the roots of a “Peace tree” planted in Seaforth Park in the heart of Vancouver – on the first day of the Vancouver Conference – Peace Parks Across Canada was born commemorating Canada’s 125th Birthday as a nation – with 350 Peace Parks dedicated in cities and towns across Canada – each with a ‘Bosco Sacro’ - a Peace Grove of 12 trees symbolizing the 12 Provinces and Territories of Canada and a symbol of hope for the future. The Peace Parks were dedicated on October 8th, 1992 as a national peacekeeping monument was being unveiled in Ottawa, the nation’s capital, and 5,000 peacekeepers passing in review.
Nearly twenty additional conferences and summits have been held in regions throughout world featuring world and industry leaders as keynote speakers in IIPT’s continuing commitment to “Building a Culture of Peace through Tourism.”
IIPT 25th Anniversary Legacy Projects
IIPT will continue its efforts in making travel and tourism the world’s first Global Peace Industry during its 25th Anniversary Year with a series of “Legacy Projects” .
IIPT Consortium of Collaborating Universities (IIPT-CCU)
Peace Tours Morocco and Iran
IIPT/Skal Peace Towns and Villages
Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, first President of Zambia, and Dr. Taleb Rifai participated in the re-dedication ceremony together with King Mukuni of the Leya People on whose land Victoria Falls is located – and other dignitaries. Here Dr. Kenneth Kaunda and Dr. Taleb Rifai are shown planting one of six olive trees brought from Bethany Beyond the Jordan, site of Christ’s baptism by His Excellency Akel Biltaji, representing His Majesty King Abdullah II.
We are most proud to have Skal International as a Partner in this initiative with its more than 17,000 members in 408 cities thoughout 89 countries. Each Peace Town and Village agrees to be actively committed to promoting values of tolerance, non-violence, gender equality, human rights, youth empowerment, environmental integrity, and sustainable human, social and economic development. Our further goal is 2,000 IIPT/Skal Peace Towns and Villages by the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month 2018 in support of the “Great War” Centenary theme “No More War.”
Executive Ambassador Program
Skal Red Sea Chapter Conference
Climate Change Publication
Olympic Truce Campaign
The tradition of the Olympic Truce dates back to the 9th century BC, in Ancient Greece. Since its revival in 1992, the Olympic Truce has a demonstrated history of helping to further dialogue and understanding — providing a valuable window of opportunity to work towards the peaceful resolution of conflict. The Olympic Truce once again calls upon humanity to lay down its weapons and to work towards building the foundations of peace, mutual respect, understanding and reconciliation.
IIPT welcomes expressions of interest in any of the above programs as well as in our future conferences and summits. Please contact IIPT Founder and President Louis D’Amore, Email:email@example.com.
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.”