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Tourism: A Journey to Peace Orvalle School

Tourism: A Journey to Peace Orvalle school

Tourism: A Journey to Peace Orvalle school October 20010

“There is no tourism without peace and there is no real peace without understanding between peoples, understanding which can only exist through human contact”. Words of Willibald Pahr, once Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization. It is now our turn to make the world’s largest industry, that of tourism, an industry of world peace. Tourism involves meeting new cultures, new ways of life, new customs, new places, new languages, and most importantly, new people. And it is only through people that we can achieve our goal of world peace. It was over forty years ago when the contribution of tourism towards world peace was first acknowledged by the United Nations, making 1967 the “International Tourist Year” using “Tourism, a passport to peace” as their theme. But it wasn’t until The World Tourism Conference, taken place in Manila in 1980, that the spiritual and moral aspects tourism were recognized. It is common knowledge that travel opens people’s eyes to the unknown, and the unknown might just be what is necessary to be able to understand a different culture. It is this understanding which could lead us to peace, not only between nations, but also within nations. Thanks to the advance of science and technology learning from other cultures is a much easier task to do, so why not take advantage? We are suggesting a way of tourism which is accessible to all kinds of people allowing them to get to know other peoples and their cultures easily and so break down prejudices and ignorance. On the contrary, our intention is for new generations to take a step back and think of what they learnt from a place and its people so that, most importantly, they try to find a way of preventing rivalry through dialogue. But why does encountering a new culture make a difference? Because it is only when we see through our own eyes that we can have an opinion, in this case, on how people elsewhere live and how their way of living can affect their own neighbors as well as other countries. It is only when we live in a new world that we can come up with ideas of how to make someone else’s world a better place or even our own world, being inspired by ways of life which lead to peace. Furthermore ,tourism is an industry dedicated completely to giving people the chance of exploring every corner of the world .However, the tourism we are promoting is the kind that makes exploring every corner a of the world a step further towards peace. The kind of travel we are encouraging people, especially the young ones, to do is one which enables you to live 2

Tourism: A Journey to Peace Orvalle school either as part of a community or simply as a member of a country. By so doing this, one is able to “appreciate the qualities of individuals of each nation”, as J.F Kennedy once stated referring to the effect of tourism on world peace, not forgetting, of course, the other side of the cultural experience, such as the art, history, music and the traditions of different places. Learning in depth about another culture brings out all the small things that make a place unique, and it’s when we learn about those slightest things that we can understand fully a new culture. Moreover, this leads us onto respecting one another by keeping in mind the small lessons, good and bad, learnt each day in a different life to our own. Once respect is settled between different nations and peoples, cooperation is the next step, through ties of friendship. Cooperation is a difficult thing to do when there is misunderstanding, being the reason why learning, trying to appreciate, keeping our eyes open to new things and respecting a different way of being a life is the way to achieve our goal of peace. And tourism seems to be the best way how.

Contribution to economic development International commerce is perceived like an industry that has a positive impact in the growth and development of all the countries in the world. Economic benefits are probably the reason why countries are so interested in the development of tourism. In this aspect the contribution of this sector to the worldwide economy is, evidently, important; tourism is actually the biggest industry in the world, being its contribution close to a 10% of the worldwide GDP. The touristic sector decreased, in 2009, a 4’5% in its contribution to the worldwide economy thanks to the crisis, and lost 10 million jobs informed Jean-Claude Baumgarten, president of the Worldwide Travel and Tourism Council. Stabilization is expected for this year, as well as some more optimistic forecasts and a 1% improvement of the contribution of the sector to the worldwide GDP. Although tourism passed from employing 230 million people in the world in 2007, the actual estimations are set on 220 million people, and the previsions for employment destruction are expected to be minimum. The most positive economical impacts are related to the money exchange markets, a growth in the public income, jobs and more business opportunities. The money spent by tourist is a very important source of income in the destinations local economy. This injection has three types of impact: direct, indirect and induced. The direct impact reflects an increase of the companies of the touristic sector; not only travel companies, restaurants and entertainment businesses, tourism reactivates and regenerates traditional industries giving them a chance to expand their native product industries. The indirect impact means, that the development of the touristic economical sector, thanks to the touristic flow, will cause the businesses in direct contact with the tourist to demand more products to their providers, what will revive this second circle of businesses. These two impacts will be the cause of a third one: the induced one, all the workers of the companies that have been benefited, direc or indirectly, will see this prosperity thet might leade to posible wage rises, an improvement of their work 3

Tourism: A Journey to Peace Orvalle school conditions and the creation of more work posts. But the most important part is about their decision over how to spend their revenues. Because consuming they will reactivate other economic sectors not remotely involved with tourism, but closely involved with the necessities of the residential citizens.

Tourism has been very important in the Spanish economy, even more after the constructions’ sector crisis, thanks to its contribution of a 10’3 % to the Spanish GDP in 2009.

Reinventing tourism As we stated earlier on, there are few economic sectors which have the strategic privilege that the touristic sector has towards the contribution to world peace. This sector “is, overall, an activity that takes place between people and can use its force to lay the foundations of peace and tolerance” (President of the World Ethnic Committee, Villiers) In the past years there has been considerable growth within the different types of tourism: eco-tourism – dedicated to promote tourism which helps the planet- , social tourism- which gives disadvantaged people the chance of travelling-, cultural tourism, gastronomic tourism, adventurous tourism, rural tourism and so on. It would be very desirable for this new decade to be completely dedicated to promote “a type of tourism which favours a real encounter between cultures and people” (Caritas in Veritate), stimulating initiative and propositions aimed towards the understanding and mutual respect between man and society. This is the reason why our aim is to attract the youth of today, on one hand, because they represent 20% of tourism, and on the other, because they are building our future. Further on we would like to mention a few initiatives as well as different examples of this kind of tourism taking place nowadays. These examples, although they fully answer to our idea of tourism, need to be shown to the world to be able to take root in it. Firstly, we find the International Cooperation NGO that offers an international volunteering programme thanks to which this past summer of 2010 more than 600 volunteers have had the chance of investing their summer holidays in helping disadvantaged people in over 17 different countries. 4

Tourism: A Journey to Peace Orvalle school Focusing on the same kind of idea we come across Sabática, a company which does different volunteering programmes for students and young people around the world. This gives them the chance of learning about different ways of life and cultures, balancing education, work and adventure to make an unforgettable journey. Moreover, this company won the” Prize for the best company imitative by a woman in 2009” awarded by Barcelona’s council. Another option could be learning experiences by which people create a new view on life and values by developing a spirit of international cooperation that goes beyond focusing on poverty or development only. A fine example of this are some programmes organized by the bank BBVA : La Ruta Quetzal, thanks to which over 8.000 Europeans in the past twenty years have had the chance of visiting places such as Morocco, South America, China, Guinea, the Philippines and many more. This has given them the opportunity to learn the different human, geographical and historic aspects of other cultures. But most importantly this programme is a learning experience through which the participants not only broaden their knowledge but also develop a desire for international cooperation. Likewise, we also encourage people to experience a different kind of learning experience by living with families from other countries to truly connect with the new culture. On one hand this brings us closer to people and, in a more intimate way, to the real community essence. On the other hand, the relationship with another culture, way of life and customs becomes more personal leading us on to creating a peaceful environment between cultures. The company Viajes Responsbles, translated as “Responsible Travelling”, is a similar example of what we have just suggested. It has given families the chance of doing a kind of solidarity tourism by which they stayed for six nights, with a family in a traditional southern Thai village. And last but not least, it’s convenient to mention that next August of 2011 the World Youth Day week, organised by the Catholic Church, is taking place in Madrid. There will be thousands of young people from all over the world gathered together in an atmosphere of communal peace. This will be a perfect opportunity to show the world how we can achieve our goal of world peace through communication and understanding.


Tourism: A Journey to Peace Orvalle school

Bibliography UNWTO Magazines. World Tourism Organization Tourism Planning. Daniel J. Stynes and Cynthia O'Halloran. Extension Bulletin E2004. East Lansing, MI: Cooperative Extension Service, University of Michigan, October 1987, pp12-13. INE. Informative National Statistics Institute Bulletin. Building a ‘Culture of Peace’ through Tourism: Reflexive and analytical notes and queries. Noel B. Salazar University of Pennsylvania (EEUU) Cultura de paz y gestión de conflictos. Fisas Vicenc. Ediciones UNESCO. Icaria Joint Statement by Heads of UN Entities for the Launch of the International Year of Youth ( “Caritas in veritate” Encyclical letter of His Holiness Benedict XVI. Martínez Guzmán y Sandoval Forero:(2009) Migraciones, conflictos y cultura de paz, Edición electrónica gratuita. Texto completo en Tourism a vital force of peace. First Global Conference. Vancouver. British Columbia. Canada. October 1988. TIAC


Orvalle Orvalle  

Project for International Forum "Searching for a Culture of Peace", Tourism, A Journey to Peace

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