Excerpts from D’Amore’s article
Birthing of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT)
The original seeding of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) occurred in the mid-1970’s when the firm of L.J. D’Amore and Associates was commissioned by the Government of Canada to conduct the world’s first study on the future of tourism.
IIPT’s concept of “Peace” from the start has been a positive concept that goes beyond the notion of simply the absence of war. It embraces six dimensions—peace and tranquility within ourselves; peace with others, from our neighbors next door to our neighbors in the global village; collaboration among; peace with nature and our common home—planet Earth; peace with past generations—by which we honor our respective cultures, heritage and achievements of past generations; peace with future generations— through sustainable lifestyles and practices; and peace with our Creator—by practicing the universal principle of all faiths and humanists—“do unto others as we would have them do unto ourselves.”
Introduction of a “Higher Purpose of Tourism”
A 25 year retrospective look at the First Global Conference: Tourism — A Vital Force for Peace, suggests that it was a watershed event for the travel and tourism industry. Eight hundred persons from 68 countries participated in the event which featured video-taped messages from Pope John Paul II and U.S. President Ronald Reagan in the Opening Ceremony. President Vigdis Finnbogadottir of Iceland, the world’s first elected woman, Head of State was the Honorary Chair of the Conference.
Exactly two years earlier she had hosted the Reykjavik Summit between President Ronald Reagan and General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev which resulted in the beginning disarmament of nuclear weapons between the U.S. and the Soviet Union.
The Vancouver conference first introduced the concept of “Sustainable Tourism Development”—four years prior to the UN Rio Summit on Environment and Development. It also introduced a new paradigm for a “Higher Purpose of Tourism”.
This “higher purpose” of tourism with its capacity to generate social, cultural, economic, environmental, and political benefits has now been recognized and gained acceptance at the highest levels of both governments and industry together with its immense potential as the world’s largest industry in contributing to a “Culture of Peace.”
IIPT has organized seventeen international conferences, summits and symposia in regions throughout the world bringing together both public and private sector leaders of the industry, educators, students, practitioners, and non-governmental organizations as well as leaders from related sectors.
More than 7,000 persons from some 130 countries have come together over the past 25 years to share their experience, ideas, insights, wisdom and commitment in “Building a Culture of Peace through Tourism.” More than 1,500 case studies of “Success Stories” have been presented. Demonstrating the various dimensions of a “Higher Purpose” of Tourism and the social, economic, cultural, environmental, and political benefits of tourism.