International Handbook on Tourism and Peace launched by UNWTO
On the occasion of the launch, UNWTO Secretary Taleb Rifai stated that "the fundamental experience of tourism – visiting a new place and meeting its people and culture - is a transformative aspect that defines tourism's role as an agent of peace. In this age of travel, I trust that this Handbook will help enhance our understanding of the subject and open up further possibilities to foster tourism as a valuable instrument for peace."
Ms. Elisabeth Udolf-Strobl, Director General of the Austrian Ministry of Economy, which supported the project from the beginning, said: "I am very pleased that an Austrian University is carrying out this project in cooperation with the World Tourism Organization. This proves the internationally recognized competence of Austria in tourism and in the field of peace research."
Ambassador Eichtinger from the Austrian Ministry of European and International Affairs praised tourism for its role in intercultural dialogue and exchanges. Quoting the author Mark Twain, he said: "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness…."
The editors of the book, Cordula Wohlmuther and Werner Wintersteiner argue that there are different approaches to the complex topic of "tourism and peace" and that the handbook provides a good overview on this .Based on this diversity they conclude that aspects of "peace sensitive" tourism can be carved out and used by various tourism stakeholders and tourists, as well as international and development organizations.
The number of experts contributing both case studies and theoretical approaches makes the Handbook a unique and powerful contribution to the overall discussion about new pathways to peace. Published by the Centre for Peace Research and Peace Education of the Klagenfurt University (Austria), in cooperation with UNWTO, within the framework of their joint 'Tourism and Peace' project, this publication aims to make a substantial academic contribution, while providing also relevant insights for the broader public in presenting tourism as a powerful tool within the international peace building agenda.
Note to editors:
In order to better understand and promote the use of tourism as an instrument for peace, UNWTO launched the project 'Tourism and Peace' in collaboration with the Austrian Government and the University of Klagenfurt, in 2012. The project aims to build a better knowledge on tourism's contribution to peace and elaborate recommendations to maximize the use of tourism in peace building, particularly in conflict prevention and reconciliation efforts.
Tourism as a force for peace is reflected in the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics, a set of guidelines for the development of sustainable and responsible tourism, approved by the UNWTO General Assembly in 1999 and endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 2001.
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About World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide. UNWTO encourages the implementation of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, to maximize tourism"s socio-economic contribution while minimizing its possible negative impacts, and is committed to promoting tourism as an instrument in achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), geared towards reducing poverty and fostering sustainable development. UNWTO generates market knowledge, promotes competitive and sustainable tourism policies and instruments, fosters tourism education and training, and works to make tourism an effective tool for development through technical assistance projects in over 100 countries around the world. UNWTO"s membership includes 156 countries, 6 Associate Members and over 400 Affiliate Members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities. For more information visit www.unwto.org.