September 2015 Edition



University of Medellin to be site of IIPT

International Peace Park for UNWTO General Assembly


The University Gardens at the University of Medellin has been selected as the site for the IIPT International Peace Park commemorating the UNWTO 21st General Assembly. The Peace Park will be dedicated from

                             1:00 to 2:00 PM

                             Friday, September 11


The IIPT Peace Park dedication 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.


All delegates to the 21st UNWTO General Assembly are invited including the media - local, national and international.


Monsignor Ricardo Tobon Restrepo, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Medellín will open the ceremony with a Blessing followed by brief talks from: Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); Hon. Sandra Howard Taylor, Vice Minister of Tourism; and Ms. Sandra Echeverry Duque, Subsecretaria de Turismo de la Alcaldía de Medellín.


Dr. Taleb Rifai

Monsignor Ricardo Tobon Restrepo

Hon. Sandra Howard Taylor
Sandra Echeverry Duque


Also speaking briefly will be: H.E. Alain St. Ange, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Seychelles: Mr. Rafael Millán Perez, Executive Committee Member, Skal International; Prof.  Geoffrey Lipman, International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) and Dr. Louis D´Amore, IIPT Founder and President.


H.E. Alain St. Ange

Mr. Rafael Millán Perez

Prof.  Geoffrey Lipman
Dr. Louis D´Amore

Ms. Stella Agudelo Sánchez will serve as Master of Ceremony, welcoming distinguished guests and delegates of the 21st General Assembly. IIPT is most pleased to have the Schola Nova Children´s Choir joining us to perform a series of songs during the dedication.


Kaunda_Rifai_IIPTRe-dedication of the IIPT International Peace Park at Victoria Falls was the featured event on Opening Day of the UNWTO General Assembly with Dr. Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary General giving the main address at the Ceremony. Other speakers included: Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, the first President of Zambia; and King Mukuni of the Leya People on whose land Victoria Falls is located.


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

Dr. Kenneth Kaunda and Dr. Taleb Rifai

planting Olive tree from Jordan



Kia Scherr, President of One Life Alliance to be
Featured Speaker at IIPT India Session at Maharashatra International Travel Mart

kiascherrKia Scherr, Co-Founder and President of One Life Alliance will be a featured speaker at one of the two major sessions being organized by IIPT India as part of the Maharashatra International Travel Mart (MITM).

From September 28-30, 2015, the Department of Tourism, Government of Maharashtra, India is hosting the 1st MITM in Mumbai and IIPT India is conducting 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.

Kia Scherr was personally impacted by the tragic events of 26/11 in Mumbai. She will speak about her insights into the role business plays in fostering peace and sustainability - what can be done and how it is possible? For a preview – please see:

Other speakers will include: Ms. Valsa Nair Singh, Secretary for Tourism, Govt. of Maharashtra; Mr. M. P. Bezbaruah, former Secretary for Tourism, Govt. of India; Dr. Patrick Kalifungwa, Vice-Chancellor, LIUTEBM University and member, IIPT Advisory Board; Ms. Rika Jean-Francois, CSR Commissioner, ITB; Mr. Subhash Goyal, President, Indian Association of Tour Operators; Ms. Michelle Kakade, a long distance runner and the only Indian woman to have run a marathon in 4 deserts; Mr. Dipak Haksar, COO of ITC Hotels & member, Advisory Board of IIPTI; Ms. Parvathy Omankuttan, Miss India 2008 & 1st Runner up Miss World; and Mr. Sanjay Ubale, Managing Director, Tata Realty and member, Advisory Board of IIPTI; and Mr. Dilip Jayaram - Managing Director of Procam, event managers of the Mumbai Marathon.


Ms. Valsa Nair Singh

Mr. M. P. Bezbaruah

Dr. Patrick Kalifungwa
Ms. Rika Jean-Francois
Mr. Subhash Goyal
Ms. Michelle Kakade

Mr. Dipak Haksar

Ms. Parvathy Omankuttan

Mr. Sanjay Ubale

Mr. Dilip Jayaram


As well, IIPT India will conduct 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. 


It is anticipated that well over 500 senior business and government leaders as well as representatives of the media from India and globally will attend each of these major sessions and the Peace Awards Dinner.


Additionally, IIPT India, in association with Maharashtra Tourism and TravelBiz Monitor, the leading travel trade publication in India, is arranging a CEO’s breakfast on September 30 where approximately 50-60 CEOs of Indian and select international companies are expected to attend to interact with the Chief Minister and senior State government officials who will lay out the goverment's roadmap to facilitate business development, discuss the business environment and investment opportunities, and to network with each other.


The MITM, and especially the focused events conducted by IIPTI, present a powerful opportunity to interact and network with the state government and influential business leaders.


Over 5,000 industry professionals are expected to attend MITM over these three days.


The Global Awards for empowered women is currently being planned for ITB Berlin next March in association with U. N. World Tourism Organization and ITB to be held as part of the India Forum at ITB and will be attended by Indian government officials, UNWTO and tourism professionals from across the world.



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. 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

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.



Cassie Begins Global Journey as

IIPT Ambassador for Peace


Cassandra (Cassie) De Pecol has begun her global journey as IIPT Ambassador for Peace with her first visits to Palau, Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu, Australia, New Zealand, Tonga and Papua New Guinea in the region of Oceania. She then traveled to Europe for visits to Spain and Portugal, and will soon be visiting France and Switzerland.


Cassie has set a 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 is calling her voyage "Expedition 196" and will be traveling as a “global citizen” as she promotes “Peace through Tourism” with the endorsement of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT). Skal International is collaborating with IIPT and Cassie, arranging for her to meet with Skal Presidents and other leaders as she enters countries where Skal has a national chapter. She also looks forward to meeting with students giving motivational talks, sharing her experiences and promoting Peace through Tourism by encouraging them to be "Ambassadors for Peace" in their travels - and at home in their own countries.

Cassie stated: “I’m going to be presenting the leaders I meet with a declaration of peace, doing photo ops and meeting with children, youth and people of my generation, discussing ‘Peace’ and what it means to them.” She also aims to be a source of inspiration to everyone she meets. In particular, she is “Hoping to influence people of my generation to pursue their dreams and a rewarding, fulfilled life.”


A further goal of the record setting global journey is to promote the IIPT/Skal Cities, Towns and Villages initiative with the hope that Cassie’s visits will also inspire Cities, Towns and Villages along the way to “agree 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.”


People from around the world are invited to follow her journey on Facebook “Expedition 196”. For the course of her journey Cassie plans to share with the world her top three favorite things about each country. She will also explore ecosystems and communities to understand their cultural norms and why one should visit that place. She hopes that this communication shall help heighten the worlds understanding about peaceful tourism.


Cassie also aims to build a community around her trip, inviting interested persons to join her through social media. She has a multitude of pages — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, Pinterest and will be doing weekly Youtube videos to show highlights of where she’s been. A live tracking system will show her location on a map on her website and she’ll host Q & A's on her blog.




“I’m excited to get a culture, a community going of people who are interested in this sort of thing. I’m hoping people will get involved,” she said.

Cassie’s goal of promoting “Peace through Tourism” will continue after her trip with the release of a documentary that will be shown in theaters and on Netflix and paired with other materials to serve as a tool kit for high school and college classes. She also plans to visit schools and speak about her travels and “Peace through Tourism” while she also urges them to live their dreams. Find Cassie De Pecol at



IIPT to partner in African Diaspora
World Tourism Awards


kittypopeAfter 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.  Lou D’Amore, founder/CEO of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism is also partnering to help with the 2016 ADWT-Awards and Travel Expo.

Like the previous one, this awards event week-end will include the awards Gala, cultural entertainment, a Hall of Fame Luncheon and a Travel Expo. The ADWT-Awards event will feature two new components where event attendees can learn various aspects about African Tourism as well as Diaspora Tourism. The two new components are: 1) Bantaba: Africa Comes to her Diaspora and 2) The Green Book Summit: The Pan African CulturalHeritage Tourism Roundtable. In addition to having seminars and informative meetings, Bantaba and the Green Book Summit will be a part of the Travel Expo. These two new additions to the ADWT-Awards and Travel Expo guarantee something for everyone interested in black cultural heritage tourism.

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:
Tel: (802) 253-8671
Fax: (802) 253-2645

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