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Tourism hailed as “the global peace industry,” and it frequently implied which there is a natural link between tourism and peace. In 1967, the UN’s International Tourism Year adopted as its slogan, “Tourism: Passport to Peace.” In 1986, the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IITP) founded. Two years later organized its first global conference, entitled “Tourism: A Vital Force for Peace.”
Through the term is less than a decade old, travelers’ philanthropy is an increasingly important form of assistance generated from tourism. It increasingly recognized as one of the core components of responsible travel. Tourism widely would be the world’s largest business sector, accounting for one in twelve people globally.
In 4 out of 5 countries (over 150) tourism is one of five top export earners. In 60 countries it is the number one export. International tourist arrivals grew enormously over the last half century, from 25 million in 1950 to 898 million arrivals in 2007. This trend is likely to continue even with the current global economic crisis. In 2020, tourist arrivals projected to reach 1.6 billion. In addition, tourism is especially important to poor countries around the world.
It is a principle “export” (foreign exchange earner) for 83% of developing countries, and the leading export for 1/3 of poorest countries. For the world’s 40 poorest countries, tourism is the second most important source of foreign exchange after oil. In recent years, tourism is “the only large sector of international trade in services where poor countries consistently posted a surplus.”
As the Secretary-General of the UN’s World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Francesco Frangialli stated, “While mature markets which is in Europe and North America, remain the leading destinations in the world. So the faster growth rate of new markets confirms UNWTO’s main message of tourism’s potential for the developing world.” While tourism is growing more rapidly in developing countries, the question as these essays reflect is whether it can contribute to the building blocs for peace. Such as social justice, economic equity, sustainable development and also broad based democracy.
In 2002, the United Nations declared the International Year of Ecotourism, signifying that it achieved importance in many countries. Today, ecotourism is growing three times faster than the tourism industry as a whole. In 1990, The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) founded that the first chair of its board was a highly respected conservationist, David Western, author of the paper here on Kenya. Despite these enormous advances since the 1970s, most tourism today continues to the conventional variety aimed at a mass market.