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Regional Conference On Peace Through Tourism

Regional Conference On Peace Through Tourism Regional Conference On Peace Through Tourism2

The Bangladesh Tourism Foundation [BTF] and Dept of Marketing, University of Dhaka, are convening a Regional Conference on Peace Through Tourism from 24-25 April 2013 at Dhaka in collaboration with the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT), USA.

Tourism is expected to be biggest rescuing factor against the global economic downturn, by increasing employment, increasing incomes and reducing poverty. It acts as a catalyst in economic development, including services and infrastructure. In addition, tourism often has provides communities with the economic rationale for the conservation and preservation of local heritage and culture. It uses resources with comparative advantages in production.

In their Economic Impact Report 2012, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) cites tourism as having contributed 9.1% to world GDP and employed 8.7% in 2011. In many developing countries, tourism has been considered as the most applied sector for alleviating poverty. On the other hand, the “International Institute for Peace Through Tourism” (IIPT) termed tourism as the first peace industry on the globe; they also designated every tourist as a potential Peace Ambassador. Given this premise, tourism is now considered as the most powerful and potential sector of most countries around the globe.

The situation in India (like south and east Asia) is a consequence of a complex and interconnected set of accumulated problems. Bad governance, crisis of human rights and democracy, monopolization of political power, corruption, violation of basic human rights and poverty are the main focus.

In this context, the Regional Conference on Peace though Tourism will contribute significantly in appreciation of the region’s problems as well as suggest ways and means for peaceful resolution of the challenges facing the countries in this part of the world.

Purpose

The purpose of this conference is to get involved with the issues on a regional basis to achieve durable peace through tourism activities based on the UNWTO code of ethics.

Mitigating the region’s conflict, unrest, disharmony and precondition along with best industry practices that will pursue real peace in the region. It is hoped that the conference will contribute to resolving the crises that condemns the region’s image and economy.

Description of the Program

a)    Methodology:

The conference will be jointly organized by the Department of Marketing, University of Dhaka and Bangladesh Tourism Foundation (BTF) in collaboration with the International Institute of Peace Through Tourism (IIPT). The Region Initiative (TRI) supports this program.

The program will be handled by a Steering Committee comprising representatives of the Department of Marketing, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh Tourism Foundation (BTF), IIPT, TRI and local industry leaders. Prof. Dr. Ashraful Islam Chowdhury (Founding Chairman, Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, University of Dhaka) of the Department of Marketing, University of Dhaka is the Convener of the Steering Committee.

Delegates / contributors from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan have already been confirmed. Mr. Louis D’Amore, the Founder & President of IIPT, USA and the Chancellor of Livingstone International University of Tourism Excellence and Business Management (LIUTEBM), Lusaka, Zambia has given kind consent to be our honorable guest. Besides these, delegate(s) from Maldives, Myanmar, China, Australia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kirgizstan are to be expected. Some local academicians and industry practitioners will also participate as contributors.

It is expected that between 350-400 delegates will participate in the conference including students from the tourism & hospitality management department from 12 universities, along with teachers, diplomats, stakeholders, business leaders from relevant trade bodies, FBCCI, media people and local elites.

Local & international contributors will present 6 (six) seminar based papers on their own country’s special unrest / disharmony pattern and mitigating strategies through tourism modalities. Mr. Louis D’Amore will deliver speech suggesting a comprehensive model of how peace can be established in this region applying tourism activities. Three panelists will be nominated for each seminar.

A round table discussion will be held along with the local and outside contributors in collaboration with a prominent local daily the day before the inauguration program.

On the second day, a ‘Dhaka Declaration’ will be published jointly and distributed to all the concerned Embassies.

b)    Timeliness: Tentative date is 13-14 April, 2013.

c)    Program Details:

12 April 2013: Visit to Shalbon Vihara at Moinamoti, Comilla. Dr. Sufi Mostafizur Rahman, Professor of Archaeology department, Jahangirnagar University will guide the group. Afterward guests will meet with the Vice Chancellor of Comilla University.

13 April 2013: Grand Inauguration Ceremony will be held from 11.00 am – 1.00 pm

Chief Guest:
Mr. Mohammad Faruq Khan, Hon’ble Minister, Civil Aviation & Tourism.

Special Guests:
Prof. Dr. A A M S Arefin Siddique, Vice Chancellor, University of Dhaka (proposed);
Prof. Dr. Aynun Nishat, Vice Chancellor, BRAC University (proposed);
Barrister Debashish Roy, The King, Chakma Circle, Rangamati (proposed);
Mr. Louis D’Amore, Founder & President, IIPT, USA and Chancellor, LIUTEBM, Zambia;
Mr. Palitha Gurusinghe, President, Sri Lanka Ecotourism Foundation;
Mr. A K Azad, Former President, FBCCI (proposed);

Chair:
Mr. Mokhlesur Rahman, President, Bangladesh Tourism Foundation

Afternoon, a Round Table Discussion on ‘Tourism for Peace, Tourism for All’ will be held along with local & foreign tourism experts. Prof. Dr. Md. Ashraful Islam Chowdhury will moderate the program.

14 April 2013: Full day technical & plenary sessions will be held. Dhaka Declaration will be published at the Concluding Ceremony.

Chief Guest:
Mr. Dilip Barua, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Industry (proposed);

Special Guests:
Dr. Atiur Rahman, Governor, Bangladesh Bank (proposed);
Mr. Jotirindra Bodhiprio (Santu) Larma, Chairman, Regional Council, Chittagong Hill Districts (proposed);
Mr. Louis D’Amore, Founder & President, IIPT, USA and Chancellor, LIUTEBM, Zambia;
Mr. Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed, President, FBCCI (proposed).

Chair:
Prof. Dr. Md. Zakir Hossain Bhuiyan, Chairman, Dept. of Marketing, University of Dhaka.

d)    Anticipated outcome:

(i)    Bangladesh, as well as the south-Asian region fails to share tourism market due to unrest, bad image and absence of good governance.  So, the first outcome is to develop a sustainable design of tourism demand model.  The conference will able to identify real bottleneck of regional disharmony and resolving techniques of conflict without recourse to violence.

(ii)    Dhaka Declaration will be an invaluable and historical document for establishing peace through tourism to this region.

(iii)     New door will be opened for cooperation among the stakeholders of the Tourism Industry of Bangladesh, Dhaka University, Bangladesh Tourism Foundation, TRI and IIPT for research and building capacity for future activities.

For more information email Mokhlesur Tahman at gtldhaka@yahoo.com