UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai
Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), will be a featured speaker at this year’s IIPT World Travel Market event, “Cultivating Sustainable and Peaceful Communities and Nations:”
Wednesday, November 5, 10:30 am to 12:00 Noon
South Gallery Rooms 21 and 22
Dr. Rifai has been a serious advocate of “Building a Culture of Peace through Tourism” and has given tourism and peace a new emphasis at UNWTO including the recent publications, “International Handbook on Tourism and Peace” co-published with the Centre for Peace Research and Peace Education, Klagenfurt University Austria. He has actively supported IIPT initiatives since taking office as UNWTO Secretary General.
Other panelists in the event being organized by the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) include: Martin Craigs, CEO, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA); Amb. Yamina Karitanyi, Head of Tourism and Conservation, Rwanda; Hiran Cooray, Director, Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority and Chairman, Jetwing Hotels Ltd; and Mrs. Wahida Jaiet, Managing Director of the Tunisian National Tourist Office (TNTO). Professor Geoffrey Lipman, President, International Coalition of Tourism Partners (ICTP) will be the Moderator.
The world is currently faced with conflict on every continent – some that began as much as 70 years ago. As well, there are many conflicts in this same period that have been successfully resolved. What lessons can we learn from countries that have resolved their conflict? How can we work towards building sustainable and peaceful communities – sustainable and peaceful nations? As one of the world’s largest and fastest growing industries -what role can tourism play.
This session, organized by the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) features leaders of the industry who will share their perspectives on the role of tourism in healing wounds conflict, contributing to post-conflict socio-economic re-development and to a “Culture of Peace” at both the community and national levels and across regions of the world.
The World Travel Market session will be a preview of the IIPT World Symposium on Sustainable and Peaceful Communities and Nations being held at Emperors Palace, South Africa, Februrary16-19, 2015. The Symposium will honor the legacies of three great Champions of Peace and Non-Violence: Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Ganhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. and will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the African Union; 20 years of South African Democracy, and the 50th anniversary of Civil Rights Legislation in the United States.
IIPT Founder and President Louis D’Amore said, “Our intent will be to harness the Symposium and legacies of Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. to build bridges of tourism, friendship and peace between Africa, Asia, North America and other regions of the world.”
Dr. Rifai will also be the featured keynote speaker at the IIPT Symposium in February. Host sponsors of the event are South Africa Tourism, Gauteng Province, the metropolitan cities of Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg, South African Airways and Emperors Palace. The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Africa Travel Association (ATA), Skal International, International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP) and the Jamaica Business Resource Center are Partners in the Symposium.

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