The International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) is convening a World Symposium on Sustainable and Peaceful Communities and Nations through Tourism, Culture and Sport to be held at Emperors Palace, Johannesburg, from the 16th to the 19th of February 2015. By Tourism Tattler contributor, Bernadette Nickol.
The interactive and action oriented Symposium will honour the legacies of the world’s three great champions of Peace and Non-Violent Resistance: Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. with the aim of affirming these legacies by building bridges of tourism, friendship and peace in regions throughout the world.
The Symposium, endorsed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, will also commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the African Union, 20 years of South African Democracy and 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Legislation in the U.S.
IIPT is using its historical convening power to bring world leaders of the travel and tourism industry to South Africa as keynote speakers for this milestone event including:: Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); Mr. David Scowsill, President and CEO, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC); Salih Cene, President, Skal International; Martin Craigs, (until recently) CEO, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA); Professor Geoffrey Lipman, President, International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP); Mok Singh, Skal International President (2012 – 2013) and member, IIPT International Advisory Board as well as leading Ministers of Tourism including the visionary Hon. Alain St. Ange, Minister of Tourism, Seychelles and creator of the Carnavales de Carnavales. Host Minister, Hon. Derek Hanekom, Minister of Tourism, South Africa has of course also been invited.
The Symposium will have two basic aims: to identify strategies and best practice in cultivating productive, sustainable, peaceful and welcoming communities through tourism, culture and sports; and to determine lessons learned from countries that have experienced conflict and the potential roles of tourism, culture and sports in reconciliation and post-conflict socio-economic re-development.
Design of the Symposium will be highly interactive with international experts in community development, community tourism, sports, culture and peace engaging with delegates in the exchange of experiences and ideas. Ministers of Tourism from countries that have experienced conflict will share their insights and suggestions related to strategies for reconciliation and healing wounds of conflict and best practices in harnessing tourism, culture and sports in the post-conflict socio-economic re-development process.
In addition to Ministers of Tourism from Africa, selected Ministers from countries of Europe, Asia and South America that have experienced conflict will also be invited to participate in inter-active plenary session panels.
A special action initiative already begun in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the African Union is an IIPT/Skal Cities, Towns and Villages of Peace Across South Africa project with a goal of 50 cities, towns and villages dedicating themselves to peace in the weeks leading up to the Symposium. Some ten cities, towns and villages have already registered. Other action initiatives will be announced in the weeks prior to and during the Symposium.
As with past IIPT Conferences and Summits, Pre-Symposium Events will include a full day Educators Forum and full day Student/Youth Leadership Forum. As well, following the precedent of IIPT’s Fifth African Conference in Lusaka, Zambia, a full day Traditional Leaders Forum is also planned. A full day community tourism training workshop and a half day media workshop will also feature as Pre-Symposium events on 16 February.
Host Partners for the Symposium include: South Africa Tourism, Gauteng Tourism, the Metropolitan Municipalities of Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg, South African Airways and Peermont Emperors Palace.
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), which has supported IIPT International events since the First IIPT Global Conference, Vancouver 1988, will again be a partner in the Symposium. Other partners include: Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Africa Travel Association (ATA), Skal International and the International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP.
This is IIPT’s seventeenth international event and seventh global summit since its founding in 1986, the UN International Year of Peace.
IIPT is most grateful for the enthusiasm and support being provided by its Host Partners and looks forward to a strong participation of South African tourism professionals taking part in the Symposium. Special Travel Industry rates are available to attend the Symposium.