Talking Point: In uncertain times the tourism industry can promote peace

International Institute of Peace Through Tourism

International Institute of Peace Through Tourism

This year, the International Institute of Peace Through Tourism (IIPT) is celebrating its 30th Anniversary. President and Founder, Louis D’Amore and Prakash Sikchi, CEO of Inspirock, one of the IIPT’s technical partners and keen supporters, take a look back at the work undertaken by the organisation and its achievements.

The IIPT was founded in 1986 with a vision to make travel and tourism the world’s first global peace industry and to promote the belief that, ‘every traveller is potentially an Ambassador for Peace.’ Since its founding, the organisation has remained dedicated to fostering and facilitating tourism initiatives that contribute to international understanding and cooperation, an improved quality of environment, preservation of heritage, sustainable development, poverty reduction and healing wounds of conflict.

Through the years, the IIPT has achieved a number of landmark firsts as part of its pioneering work. IIPT first introduced the concept of sustainable tourism development at its First Global Conference: Tourism – A Vital Force for Peace, Vancouver, 1988. IIPT also produced the world’s first Codes of Ethics and Guidelines for Sustainable Tourism, 1992; conducted the first international study of best practice, tourism and the environment, 1993; and organised the first major international Conference on Sustainable Tourism: Building a Sustainable World through Tourism, Montreal 1994. Today the IIPT has chapters in regions throughout the world including the Caribbean, Australia, Maldives, India and Pakistan.

It was at World Travel Market, following a presentation by Prakash Sikchi, that he and Mr, D’Amore first met. Prakash immediately identified with the mission of encouraging every traveller to be “An Ambassador for Peace” and to embrace the life changing experience and diversity afforded by travel.

As a result of this meeting, Prakash Sikchi and his colleagues at Inspirock began discussing how to support this valuable part of IIPT’s work and remain connected in a meaningful way with today’s modern traveller. Following these discussions and a subsequent meeting between Prakash and Lou D’Amore it was decided to integrate an online trip planner into the new IIPT ‘Travel for Peace’  website and make it a central component of the new Travellers for Peace campaign thereby providing travellers even more personal independence while arranging their trips and helping them to connect directly with local sights and cultures - while also bringing the IIPT direct connection with travellers and their planned adventures.

Integrating the trip planner to the IIPT’s new site seemed like a very natural way to do this as it offers visitors to the site a chance to plan a personalised travel itinerary that spans towns, cities, countries and even continents from a single source. It also lets travellers delve deeper into the local area and foster an understanding of different cultures. With these ideas in mind, Inspirock collaborated with other partners including the Crist Consulting Group and the International Coalition of Tourism Partners to create an interactive site where people can make their travel dreams a reality.

The Travel for Peace Campaign is the first of several major initiatives that IIPT has planned for its 30th anniversary year. Hotels, Travel Agents, Tour Operators and all sectors of the industry are invited to become charter members of the IIPT/Skal Travel for Peace Campaign. For more information on becoming a charter member of the campaign – contact Lou D’Amore: ljd@iipt.org.

Inspirock provided its online trip planner free of charge and is donating revenue it generates from bookings on the new site to the IIPT to help fund the organisation’s valuable work. For more information visit http://www.inspirock.com/ and contact denise.otero@inspirock.com

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