Tourism: Component of Peace
“I have watched the cultures of all lands blow around my house and other winds have blown the seeds of peace, for travel is the language of peace.” .. . Mahatma Gandhi
Does tourism promote culture of peace?
The tourism has become the important industry in the developing countries for the economic development. Tourism appears to be one of the few economic sectors able to guide a number of developing countries to higher levels of prosperity and for some to leave behind their least developed country status: As tourism is one of the world’s major industries and in continuously expanding. Tourism is the biggest and fastest growing industry in the world.
Peace is a precondition for travel and tourism and all aspects of human growth and development. Tourism can rise above governmental boundaries by bringing people closer together through the understanding of different cultures, heritages, and beliefs. Therefore, it is potentially one of the most important vehicles for promoting peace among the peoples of the world. Tourism society of England (1976) defines tourism as “Tourism is a temporary short term movement of people to destination outside the places where they normally live and work and their activities during the stay at each destination.” It includes movements for all purposes.
Alister Matheison and Geoffrey wall in their book “Tourism Economic, Physical and Social Impact” 1980 have tourism as “it is the temporary movement of the people to destination outside their normal places of work and residence, the activities undertaken during their stay in those destination and facilities created to cater to their needs.”
Tourism has a wide range of positive economic impacts. It contributes directly to sales, profits, jobs, tax revenues, and income in the primary tourism sectors such as hotels, restaurants and transportation.
Positive aspects of Tourism
* Provides employment opportunities
* Increases incomes and governmental revenues
* Increased gross national products
* Can promote local products and resources
* Promotes a global community
* Promotes international understanding and peace
As there are also negative aspect of tourism which creates the social problems, degrades natural physical environment and creates pollution. It also increases the crime, prostitution and gambling but in another way it can be develop as a part of tourism. There are some criticisms on tourism that creates conflict in the host country, and commercialize culture, region and arts.
So we can relate tourism and peace as peace can be simply known as “the absence of war” and calls for new positive concept of peace accepting the perspective of an organic and interconnected world. Regarding the peace; World tourism conference in Manila in 1980, declared that world tourism can be vital force for the world peace. So the tourism industry has a role of promoting global understanding, trust and world peace. Further, United Nations has also focused on peace and tourism and has identified creating peace through tourism is an important means to create peace in the world. Marxist theorist also assumed that inequality is a cause of conflict. More than inequality between individuals, rather inequality between ethnic groups or between regions referred as horizontal inequality.
The major thing is the movement of people as a tourism triggers important process of capital formation and wealth distribution. It also helps to change the fundamental nature and social cultural relation of the people. Moreover, tourism reduces social inequalities by uplifting the living conditions of marginalized people which also helps to reduce structural violence. From the peace studies point of view, we considers tourism has potential to reduce violence as tourism is consumed at the point of production of increasing opportunities for individual and micro enterprises to sell additional products or services....
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