Building Peace Through Travel

February 12, 2014

travelTravel and tourism can contribute to a more peaceful world, United Nations officials said this week as they unveiled a new handbook that offers offers a comprehensive collection of perspectives on tourism and peace.

Topics range from sustainable development and conflict resolution to eco-tourism and heritage preservation and includes several case studies.

“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," said UNWTO Secretary Taleb Rifai. "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.”

The launch of the handbook was supported by the Austrian Ministry of European and International Affairs.

"I am very pleased that an Austrian University is carrying out this project in cooperation with the World Tourism Organization," said Elisabeth Udolf-Strobl, Director General of the Austrian Ministry of Economy.

Other officials praised tourism for its role in promoting intercultural dialogue and exchanges.

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.

The new book builds on the UNWTO's global code of ethics for tourism, which begins by emphasizing how travel can help create international understanding and respect.

UNWTO global code of tourism ethics:

Article 1: Tourism's contribution to mutual understanding and respect between peoples and societies
Article 2: Tourism as a vehicle for individual and collective fulfilment
Article 3: Tourism, a factor of sustainable development
Article 4: Tourism, a user of the cultural heritage of mankind and contributor to its enhancement
Article 5: Tourism, a beneficial activity for host countries and communities
Article 6: Obligations of stakeholders in tourism development
Article 7: Right to tourism
Article 8: Liberty of tourist movements
Article 9: Rights of the workers and entrepreneurs in the tourism industry
Article 10: Implementation of the principles of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism


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