Folder Peace through Tourism

Folder Administration: Gordon Sillence

Peace is one of the basic preconditions for sustainable development. Sustainable tourism and peace go hand in hand.  Peace provides the basis for travel, whereas war and conflict disrupt tourist activity. Very often tourism is used as a means to regenerate war-affected areas, or develop conflict resolution processes (cf Mozambique, Palestine).  Peace is also essential for the preservation of the environment and biodiversity, both of which are casualties of war




A global conflict map is available on the Global Peace Index site, and is highly recommended reference point,Currently approximately 40 conflict zones can be identified worldwide, mainly in poorer countries. However, it is the economic, environmental and social costs to the global majority of the ´security-first`, ´markets-first` reality of the last decade of development (cf UNEPs GEo2-GEO4 studies) that draw us to the conclusion that sustanable development cannot be achieved without peace. Once again, the so-called ´peace dividend` needs to be invoked, so that resources that are channelled into the military budgets can be spent on facing the challenges of poverty, cultural and environmental degradation, climate change and economic collapse - by implementing the just and equitable world of Agenda 21 ( - the total budget of the UN at 27 billion dollars is only 1.8% of global military expenditure - over 1.2 trillion USD).

This folder is designed to facilitate the role tourism can play in creating both local and global peace. Its primary focus is on the Olympic Truce process, in which the United Nations and the International Olympic Committee work together to assert the original concept of peace during the Olympic games (ekecheiria).   In 2000 the Olympic Truce was included in the UN’s Millennium Declaration, and in the same year, the IOC, in partnership with the Greek government, established the International Olympic Truce Centre (IOTC) in Athens to work for the advancement of the Truce’s message of peace. The International Institute for Peace through Tourism has played a leading NGO role to develop awareness of the link between tourism and peace.  However, despite all efforts, successive olympic events have failed to see the 16 day truce being implemented.

In October 2015 the Brazil government will a resolution to the UN to ask member states to support the Truce.  Previousl Olympics have all lacked a Truce implementation strategy.  

The Olympic Youth Peace Ambassadors sub-folder documents a supporting process that aims to bring tourism stakeholders together to develop the six weeks of peace through tourism during the Brazil 2016 Olympics. The concept  involves using  sport,  the arts and tourism as a means of stimulating cultural understanding to promote this period of peace during the games.  Such a vision includes mapping and marketing responsible and sustainable tourism activity to benefit all nations participating in the Games, particularly those suffering the greatest conflict.  Nothing less than an Olympian effort by the many is now required, so please see what you can do to play your part.