IIPT Debate at World Travel Market
“Building Bridges of Understanding Between Civilizations, Cultures and Religions: Does Tourism Have a Role?

For Immediate Release
(World Travel Market, Excel London, 12 November 2007) Humanity is currently witnessing - and shaping the most significant paradigm shift in human history – a paradigm shift of major demographic, economic, ecological and geo-political dimensions.

Integral to this paradigm shift are global challenges unprecedented in human history including global warming, depleting resources, an ever-increasing and unsustainable ecological footprint, global poverty, and HIV AIDS.

To meet these challenges will similarly require collaboration on a global scale unprecedented in human history – and to achieve this level of global collaboration – it is essential that we first build the foundations of mutual understanding and respect between civilizations, cultures and religions.

This year’s IIPT debate focused on these issues and the key role of Travel and Tourism – the world’s largest industry – in building these bridges of understanding as a foundation for global collaboration?

This year’s debate featured H.E. Senator Akel Biltaji, Special Advisor to H.M. King Abdullah II, Jordan as Moderator and PATA President and CEO, Mr. Peter de Jong framing the debate.

The three industry leaders taking part in the debate have the breadth of experience and knowledge that provided an over-arching global perspective: Mr. Robert Coggin, Vice Chairman, Travelport; Mr. Elhamy ElZayat, Chairman, Egyptian Tourism Federation and Chairman & CEO, Emeco Travel; and Mr. Alwin Zecha, Executive Committee PATA, and Executive Chairman, Pacific Leisure Group.

Louis D’Amore, Founder and President of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism, was proud to again bring the debate to the global forum of World Travel Market. Commenting on the debate, Mr. D’Amore stated, “The total world military budget for 2007 is US$ 1.2 Trillion. More than the gross national product of every nation except 7 - $186 for every man, woman and child in the world – a world where 1 of every 6 persons survives on less than $1 a day, and another 2 of every 6 on less than $ 2 a day – 1 in 6 go to bed hungry each evening - and 1 in every 4 persons never has the luxury of a clean glass of water to drink. We must bring an end to the exorbitant and destructive elements of war if we are to collaborate as a global family to meet the real challenges that humanity is facing.”

About International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT)
IIPT is dedicated to fostering and facilitating tourism initiatives which contribute to international understanding and cooperation, an improved quality of environment, the preservation of heritage, and poverty reduction, and through these initiatives, help bring about a more peaceful and sustainable world.

For more information on IIPT please visit: www.iipt.org.

Media Contact: Karen Hoffman, The Bradford Group. Email

International Institute for Peace Through Tourism
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