Harnessing the potential of Tourism to Historical Conflict Sites in Advancing Peace: Reflecting on the Past and Inspiring the Future

Research output: Other contribution

Abstract

With over one billion people crossing international borders every year, tourism has become one of the major socioeconomic activities of our time, as it engages people of practically all nations and from every corner of our planet, either as hosts or as guests. Through its undisputable role as a mind-broadening educational experience, it can become a powerful transformative force that reduces prejudice, distrust and hostility and brings a significant contribution to building a more harmonious and peaceful world. In addition, tourism has the ability to help communities to value their place in the world, their cultures and traditions and their environment. This helps build self-esteem among local communities, which is particularly important in those that have suffered from any form of conflict.
Among other initiatives, the ongoing commemoration (2014-2018) of the centenary of the First World War has provided an opportunity to reflect on the past and to draw lessons for the future about the importance of upholding a culture of peace.
“Tourism and peace” has become an emerging field of action and research since the 1980s, although many of the central ideas from this field are far from new, given that tourism has long been thought of as a way of promoting peace and mutual understanding. The exact nature of this relationship is not clearly understood, and there is need for empirical research investigating precisely how tourism can promote peace (Mouffakir and Kelly 2010), as well as the impact that tourism may have on peace processes (Wohlmuther, Wintersteiner, 2013).
The overall aim of the Project has been to support peacebuilding and peace-keeping while contributing to sustainable development through ethical tourism and heritage. Therefore, this Project focuses on how the combination of ethical tourism and heritage provide the means for widening and deepening international understanding and changing the way young and older generations think about war and peace.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • peace, tourism, conflict

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