Home‎ > ‎Press Release‎ > ‎

How Tourism Can Promote Peace - Part 1

posted Dec 11, 2018, 1:06 PM by PFP Admin   [ updated Dec 11, 2018, 2:22 PM ]

How Tourism Can Promote Peace 

Mahboobeh Fahnadezh Saadi///

Mahboobeh is a Tehran-based writer and researcher. She is currently associated with Press for Peace (PFP). "How tourism can promote peace" is her 4-part series of articles on prospects of peace through tourism.

Tourism is among one of those industries that can create jobs, alleviate poverty, empower people and boost economy. It can also promote peace in a conflict situation and bring a positive change in peoples' lives by making way for political settlement of a longstanding territorial issue. A plenty of work has been done to promote tourism in both sides of Kashmir in recent years. Unfortunately , a little progress towards attainment of sustainable peace in the region has been made. Besides, there is a significant improvement in international peace making efforts to find an amicable solution of Kashmir issue. 

What is the Scholastic View?

There is a consensus among scholars and peace promoting organisations around the world over interrelationship of peace and tourism. A constant contact among individuals from conflict groups creates opportunities for reduction of inter-group prejudices, tensions and misunderstandings. Tourism provides prospects of hope and understanding between foreign visitors and the host communities. This results in provision of opportunities that can overcome prejudices.

What is the cultural view?

Tourism is a modern social phenomenon with potential to unite people through intercultural exchanges. The World Tourism Organization emphasis on importance of tourism in preparing for and safeguarding peace. The organization describes tourism as a vital force for peace and defines it as an intellectual basis for international understanding and interdependence.

What is the historical perspective?

Historically, a relationship between tourism and peace dates back to 1980s. First ever, the UN year of peace was celebrated in 1986. This was an initiative that followed several other instances of terrorism around the world, many of which were aimed at tourism. Many scholars have since argued that tourism can significantly promote cross-cultural understanding. 

World Travel and Tourism Council

In 2016, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) published a report in collaboration with the Institute of Economics and Peace, highlighting that countries with a more sustainable and open tourism sector tend to be more peaceful. Tourism can help support peace by ‘putting pressure on governments to cease fighting or establish harmonious relationships between citizens in order to attract tourists.

How it benefits economy?

This is particularly important if tourism is an important sector for the economy’. Examples provided in the report include Rwanda, where efforts to clear land mines were in part driven by increasing gorilla tourism, and Kashmir, where cross-border tourism is a significant factor in reducing friction between India and Pakistan in the disputed territory.