October 2015 Edition


IIPT India Hosts Two Major Sessions as Part of First

Maharashatra International Travel Mart (MITM)


From September 28-30, 2015, the Department of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra, India  hosted the Maharashtra  International Travel Mart (MITM) in Mumbai and IIPT India conducted two major sessions of 90 minutes each addressed by eminent Indian and international speakers including a senior representative of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on the subjects of: 

* Tourism as a tool for prosperity and peace;

* The critical role of women in tourism and strategies for women empowerment.


Hon. Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, inaugurated Maharashtra International Travel Mart (MITM) at the Bombay Convention & Exhibition Center, Goregaon, Mumbai. MITM 2015 witnessed 250 registrations with participation from 16 states, along with hoteliers, travel agents, and tour operators from India and abroad. The Honorable Chief Minister said, “The mart has brought all tourism stakeholders under one roof. There's great scope for tourism in Maharashtra and India."



"MITM Session - Tourism A Tool for Peace" From left to right - Ajay Prakash, President IIPT India; Dr. Patrick Kalifungwa, Vice Chancellor LIUTEBM; Dipak Haksar, COO ITC Hotels; Kiah Scherr, President, One Life Alliance; Kiran Yadav, Vice President IIPT India


International Institute for Peace through Tourism, India (IIPTI) conducted two Knowledge sessions during the MITM. The first knowledge session titled, ‘Tourism – Powerful tool for peace’ was moderated by Ajay Prakash, President, IIPT India. Deepak Haskar, COO, ITC Hotels; Kiah Scherr, President, One Life Alliance; Kiran Yadav, Co-Founder, IIPT India; and Prof. Patrick Kalifungwa, Vice Chancellor, LIUTEBM, were the speakers. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, UNWTO, in a video message, said, “Tourism is a powerful, transformative force; every tourist can be a global ambassador of peace.”

Dr. Kalifungwa suggested, “Tourism can be used as a tool for prosperity of tourism-connected industry. Peace is all around us when we choose to have it. Peace is a period of harmony between different social groups. It is understood as the absence of hostility.”

Mr. Haskar,COO,ITC Hotels  added, “One billion tourists travel around the world and 8 million come to India, and 1 billion domestic tourists travel across India. By 2025, we will have 1.5-1.75 billion domestic tourists between the age group of 18 to 25. The youth wants to see the rich, cultural diversity of the country. Tourism can and must play an important role in national integration. It can play a role in sheer appreciation of each other’s culture. Unless tourism is sustainable we will have problems.” Ajay Prakash rounded up the session by saying that it is not enough to talk about it, but you need to believe and work towards peace. We also need to celebrate the differences




"MITM Session - Women's Role in Tourism" From left to right - Sheldon Santwan, member Executive Council IIPT India & COO TravelBizMonitor; Ajay Prakash, President IIPT India;Vasuki Sundaram, member Executive Council IIPT India; Rika Jean-Francois, CSR Commissioner ITB; Archana Tomar, founder Mountain People; Dr. Patrick Kalifungwa, Vice Chancellor LIUTEBM, Zambia; Michelle Kakade, marathon runner; Parvathy Omanakuttan, Miss India 2008 & 1st Runnerup Miss World; Kiran Yadav, Vice President IIPT India


“The Critical Role of Women in Tourism & Strategies to Empower Women” was the subject of the second session on 29 Sep. Ms. Rika Jean-Francois, Commissioner for CSR at ITB, Ms. Archana Tomar, founder of Mountain People, Ms. Michelle Kakade the only Indian woman to have completed marathons in four deserts and Ms. Parvathy Omanakuttan, Miss India 2008 and 1st Runner-up Miss World 2008 were the Speakers. The session was moderated by Dr. Patrick Kalifungwa. Each of the Speakers drew upon her personal experience, thoughts and beliefs to highlight women’s contribution to tourism and peace.


IIPT India also conducted the IIPT India Peace Awards for empowered women in Indian tourism and hospitality to recognize outstanding women who have empowered themselves and continue to empower other women as role models and mentors.


At the event, IIPT India Peace Awards were conferred on 5 women for their outstanding contribution to the travel and tourism industry. Ajay Prakash, President and Co-Founder, IIPT, said, "Women constitute 50% of the world and 50% of tourists in the world are women. But there are certain women who bring value to the tourist product and continue to serve as role models."




Left to right - Ajay Prakash (standing); Valsa Nair Singh, Principal Secretary Tourism & Art, Govt. of Maharashtra; Shri Sudhir Mungantiwar, Minsiter for Palnning, Finance & Forests, Govt. of Maharashtra; Shri Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra; Shri Ram Naik, Minister of State for Tourism; Paraag Jaiin, Managing Director MTDC


Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra presented the awards in the presence of Valsa Nair Singh, IAS, Secretary Tourism & Culture, Government of Maharashtra; Ram Shinde, Minister of State for Tourism, Maharashtra; and Sudhir Mungantiwar, Minister for Planning, Finance & Forests, Government of Maharashtra.


From left to right - Ajay Prakash; Sampada Kulkarni; Pamela Gale Malhotra; Anita Deshpande; Neelu Singh; Rashmi Sawant; Kiran Yadav & Vasuki Sundaram


Award Winners
•    Anita Deshpande, Co-Founder, TemplePilots, for Contribution to Adventure Tourism
•    Rashmi Sawant of Culture Aangan for Contribution to Rural Tourism 
•    Pamela Gail Malhotra, SAI (Save Animals Initiative)  Sanctuary, for Services in Protecting Nature and Promoting Eco-friendly Tourism
•    Sampada Kulkarni, Anandache shet for Contribution to Agri Tourism 
•    Neelu Singh, COO, Ezeego1, for Integration for Technology in Travel & Tourism


The Hon’ble Governor congratulated the winners in his animated speech on the benefits of tourism. Minister Mungantiwar said that any initiative or enterprise which honoured women was bound to be blessed by success. IIPT India will conduct the International Awards for Empowered Women in Tourism at the ITB Berlin in March 2016. The Awards will be held in association with UNWTO and ITB under the title “Celebrating Her.”



IIPT Dedicates International Peace Park at

UNWTO General Assembly, Medellin, Colombia


The International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) was most honored to dedicate an IIPT International Peace Park at the University Gardens of Medellin University as a living legacy of the 21st UNWTO General Assembly and a tribute to the City that hosted the UNWTO General Assembly this past month.


ministerandrifaiParticipating in the Symbolic Ceremony with IIPT Founder and President, Dr. Louis D’Amore were: Dr. Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary General; Hon. Sandra Howard Taylor, Vice Minister Tourism, Colombia; Hon. Alain St.Ange, Minister, Tourism and Culture, Seychelles; Mr. Rafael Millan, Executive Committee Member of Skal International; and Rector of the University of Medellin, Dr. Nestor Vargus.


Archbishop of Medellin, Monsignor Edgar Aristizabal blessed the ceremony and the Peace Park. Prof. Geoffrey Lipman, President, International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) was Master of Ceremony.




Minister Sandra Howard Taylor and Dr.Taleb Rifai



Schola Nova, Sabaneta , Antioquia, Children’s choir


Children aged 6 to 12 of the Schola Nova, Sabaneta , Antioquia, Children’s choir – representative of peace and the future – thrilled the audience with a series of traditional Columbian songs during the ceremony and as four guayacanes  trees were planted - two yellow and two pink, typical species of the region that bloom twice a year, although in Medellin, " City of Eternal Spring ,"  can give more blooms to keep alive the beautiful landscapes of the “Most Innovative City in the World.”




"Guayacán means the tree comes to life," said Deputy Minister Sandra Howard, adding that "this reference gives importance to the IIPT Peace Park dedication, especially when Colombia as a whole is moving towards peace, towards life ".


The Guayacán species is characterized by its large leaves, which are home to a large number of endemic birds of the Caribbean region and grows up to 15 meters, while  their trunks reach 60 centimeters in diameter.







Rafael Millan and Dr. Louis D'Amore


Following the official addresses, Dr. Taleb Rifai, Minister Sandra Howard Taylor,

Minister Alain St.Ange, Archbishop Edgar Aristizabal, Rafael Millan and Rector of the University Dr. Nestor Vargus symbolically planted the four Peace trees together with Dr. Louis D'Amore.


Minister Alain St. Ange and Archibishop Edgar Aristizabal
Dr.Geoffrey Lipman


The IIPT International Peace Park dedication at the University of Medellin is the second at a UNWTO General Assembly with the first being the re-dedication of the IIPT International Peace Park at Victoria Falls on Opening Day of the 20th General Assembly, jointly hosted by Zambia and Zimbabwe, August 2013.


peaceparkphotoMore than 400 IIPT Peace Parks have been dedicated in countries throughout the world including IIPT International Peace Parks at Bethany Beyond the  Jordan, site of Christ’s baptism; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; the Uganda Martyr's Trail, Namugongo, Uganda and Vancouver, Canada, site of the First IIPT Global Conference.


Unity Peace Park, Richmond Hill



From Conflict to Sustainable Tourism: the Northern Ireland Experience – theme of IIPT WTM Event


From Conflict to Sustainable Tourism: the Northern Ireland Experience, will be the theme of this year’s IIPT special Platinum Suite event at World Travel Market:

                             Platinum Suite 1

                             5:00 to 6:00 PM

                             Wed. 4 November

                             Reception to follow


The IIPT special event will highlight the experience of Northern Ireland in its transformation from a nation of conflict to sustainable tourism development with its related socio-cultural, economic and political benefits. Emphasis will be given to lessons learned and their application to areas of the world currently experiencing conflict. A panel discussion with leaders from other countries that have experienced conflict will be featured.


drtalebrifaiDr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, U.N. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) will open the session with his insights from a global perspective. This will be followed by the panel discussion with H.E. Akel Biltaji, Mayor of Amman and former Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Jordan; Ms. Suzanne Wylie, CEO Belfast City Council, Mr. Hiran Cooray, President, Tourist Hotels Association of Sri Lanka; Director - Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and Chairman, Jetwing Hotels Ltd; Mr. Eneko Goia, Mayor of San Sebastian, Spain and Amb. Williams Nkurunziza, Rwanda High Commissioner to the United Kingdom,Hon. Sandra Howard Taylor, Vice Minister of Tourism, Colombia. Ms. Anita Mendiriatta, will be Master of Ceremony of the event and Panel Moderator.



Dr. Taleb Rifai


H.E. Akel Biltaji
Ms. Suzanne Wylie

hiranMr. Hiran Cooray

sandraHon.Sandra Howard Taylor

Mr. Eneko Goia

williamAmb. Williams Nkurunziza

IIPT Founder and President, Dr. Louis D’Amore said. “IIPT is most honored to again have Dr. Rifai grace the IIPT Platform as well as Ms. Anita Mendiratta, again as a Master of Ceremony and Moderator, together with the distinguished leaders participating in this timely debate.” He continued, “IIPT will use this special occasion to launch the 30th Anniversary Year of its birth and to announce the IIPT 30th Anniversary Summit in 2016.


Dr. Louis D’Amore
Ms. Anita Mendiratta
Prof. Terry Stevens

A reception will immediately follow, also in Platinum Suite 1, from 6:00 to 7:30 PM featuring brief performances of Music 4 Peace and Poetry 4 Peace. Master of Ceremony for the Reception will be Professor Terry Stevens, Managing Director of the award winning, international, tourism consultancy Stevens & Associates.

We look forward to your joining us.



IIPT Caribbean Community Tourism

Youth Ambassador Announced


chereseeMrs. Diana McIntyre-Pike, President of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) Caribbean and President/Founder of Countrystyle Community Tourism Network/Villages as Businesses (CCTN/VAB) has appointed Jamaica’s 2015 Festival Queen, Miss Chereese La- Vonne Ricketts as the 2015-2016 International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) Caribbean Community Tourism Youth Ambassador.


Ms. La-Vonne Ricketts is from Mandeville, Manchester Jamaica which is the first “Peace Town” to be registered with the IIPT/SKAL Towns and Villages of Peace programme in the Caribbean. Her special interests are performing arts, physical fitness, mental health and architectural design. She is a qualified Architect having received her B.A. Architectural Studies (Hons)| Caribbean School of Architecture, UTECH 2010 – 2014 and is past President of the Caribbean Architect Students Association 2011-12.






Miss Chereese La- Vonne Ricketts



Presently she is the Marketing Consultant, Blue Ember Concepts in Central Jamaica which is a premier design and marketing agency and the winner of the 2015 Entrepreneur Award from the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Ricketts is also the Brand Manager, Central Ophthalmic Group of Companies with responsibility for the development and execution of Brand Identity programmes for the group’s four Branches across Central Jamaica including Creative Direction, Graphic Design, Experience Design, Human Resource Coaching and Website & Social Media Management.





Mrs. Diana McIntyre-Pike and Miss Chereese La- Vonne Ricketts


ministeradchereeseIn her capacity as the IIPT Caribbean Community

Tourism Youth Ambassador, Chereese will be responsible for promoting the mission and vision of the IIPT and the IIPT/Skal Towns and Villages of Peace programme in the Caribbean as well as promoting the mission and objectives of the Countrystyle Community Tourism/Villages as Businesses; assisting with the marketing and development of communities; the marketing of the Caribbean Community Experience packages through COVACAT/CARIBIC OLYMPIA TOURS; and representing the IIPT Caribbean and the Countrystyle Community Tourism Network/Villages as Businesses at special events and tourism organizations as required.

Paul Pennicook, Miss Chereese La- Vonne Ricketts and Hon Wykeham McNeil


IIPT Caribbean President, Diana McIntyre Pike stated, “Chereese is a role model for the youth of the Caribbean and will be an outstanding Community tourism Youth Ambassador for Jamaica and the Caribbean.”



Cassie Continues Global Journey as

IIPT Ambassador for Peace


Cassandra (Cassie) De Pecol continued her global journey as IIPT Ambassador for Peace with visits to Spain,Portugal and Italy, and will soon be visiting France and Switzerland.


Cassie is determined to meet her goal of visiting all 196 sovereign nations in less than three years, thereby setting a new Guinness World record and as well becoming the youngest person to do so – and also the first woman.


Cassie with students in Malapoa College, Port Vila, Vanuatu


Prior to and throughout the Expedition, she will be filming a Documentary which when completed, will ideally serve as an educational tool for Universities and High Schools to provide an inspirational platform for promoting Global Peace through one woman’s solo, Record Breaking journey around the world. The documentary, post Expedition 196, will also showcase the beauty in otherwise lesser known areas of the world.


In the meantime, Cassie is producing 60 second commercials of each country, showcasing the beauty and magnificence of each. In the videos she also mentions three things she enjoyed doing the most in that country. The videos are published on a weekly basis and are available on Facebook and http://www.expedition196.com.


cassietreeCassie also initiated The Green Impact. Skal International and Expedition 196 are partnering together with the Skal Chapters around the world to plant trees in order to offset Cassie’s Carbon Footprint! In addition to advocating Sustainable Tourism by staying in Eco establishments and embarking on Eco tours, Cassie is now contributing by physically planting the National tree of the country she visits, with the extraordinary help from Skal International.


The first tree planting was in Rome, Italy the week of September 20th, wherein two Plum Trees were planted at two Elementary schools in the city. Obtained from a nursery, the Plum Trees were planted in front of both student bodies.


Cassie continues to inspire people and make a difference as she travels the world.




IIPT to Partner in African Diaspora

World Tourism Awards


kittyAfter the success of the historic inaugural African Diaspora World Tourism (ADWT) Awards and Travel Expo, the next ADWT- awards event will take place on April 15-17th, 2016 in Atlanta, Ga. (USA).  The ADWT-Awards event will again be presented by African Diaspora Tourism with publisher Kitty J. Pope as the founder/director and executive producer of the event.




drbabsCo-presenter is the AD King Foundation with its CEO Dr. Babs Onabanjo who is the ADWT-Awards’ founding executive producer/ producer.  Also helping to produce this awards event is Africa’s tourism guru Ikechi Uko, a foremost travel branding expert from Nigeria who will present an African Tourism component, and socio-economic developer Rev. Eugene Franklin, founder of the Florida Black Chamber of Commerce who will present a Pan African Tourism component.  International Institute for Peace through Tourism(IIPT) is also partnering to help with the 2016 ADWT-Awards and Travel Expo.

International Honorary Chair Persons for the 2016 ADWT-Awards event include Dr. Ewart Brown, the former Premier of Bermuda who was the recipient of the inaugural ADWT-Awards Person of the Year for his leadership in igniting the concept of African Diaspora Heritage Trails as a tourism product. Aslo serving as an honorary chair is Ms. Naomi King, sister-in-law of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and co-founder of the AD King Foundation who received the inaugural ADWT-Awards Heritage Site of the Year for the King Center, and Joe Beasley of an international humanitarian and founder of the Joe Beasley Foundation. Both Beasley and King were also chair for the inaugural ADWT-Awards event. Dr. Louis D’Amore, Founder and President of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism is also serving as an Honorary Chair. IIPT is also a strategic partner in presenting the Awards event.


Dr. Ewart Brown
Joe Beasley
Ms. Naomi King
Dr. Louis D’Amore
Rev. Eugene Franklin
Ikechi Uko

For more information, please see:

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, cooperation among nations, an improved quality of environment, cultural enhancement and the preservation of heritage, poverty reduction, reconciliation and healing wounds of conflicts; 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) 253-8671
Fax: (802) 253-2645
Email: ljd@iipt.org

eTurboNews is proud to be the sponsor for this IIPT Newsletter
Advertising Submit Articles Circulation Contact Partners Team