Catalytic Effect of Tourism in Peacebuilding: Sustainability and Peace Through Tourism

Catalytic Effect of Tourism in Peacebuilding: Sustainability and Peace Through Tourism

Sweety Jamgade
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5053-3.ch003
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Peace is the state of calmness attained when human beings of diverse culture, perceptions, and beliefs understand and respect the diversity of other humans in their surroundings. The understanding and respect are gathered through travel to places, observing and appreciating the culture, living style of the natives. It has been discussed in many tourism summits, conferences, forums, and symposiums about the contribution of tourism towards peacebuilding in the world. Many scholars have also investigated the impact of tourism on creating and maintaining peace in selected conflicted areas. The purpose of this chapter is to examine the significance of tourism in sustainable peacebuilding across the globe through a systematic literature review approach to accomplish the objectives of the study. It presents the concept of peace tourism, the Global Peace Index's domain of militarisation, safety and security in society, national-international conflicts, global leaders, analysis of some countries in tourism development, and sustainability through peace tourism.
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Tourism: A catalyst to peace

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.

Saint. Augustine

This quote envisaged the catalytic effect of tourism as a book of reading and learning cultures through travel. Travellers experience the cultures and diversity of other regions. Cultural experience creates an intellectual, moral and spiritual understanding, the broad-mindedness to accept a human as they are and thus leading to peace through travel. Tourism not only flourishes in peaceful environments but may also contribute to the achievement of peace and transformation in the life of the individual, the community, the nation, and international relations (Lankford, Grybovych, & Lankford, 2008). International travelling promotes understanding and trust among people from different backgrounds. This line of thinking has brought up to the surface, the concept of peace through tourism (Jimenez, & te Kloeze, 2014). Tourists play an important role in the promotion of peace, many a time they being as peace messengers. Promotion of peace through tourists is more impactful than any of the tourism organisations’ meetings and forum discussions. In many developing countries, peace is promoted between local inhabitants, as tourism creates job opportunities and is a major factor of household income to them for their satisfaction (Gajdošík, Sokolová, Gajdošíková, & Pompurová, 2019). Sustainability of peace is ensured when travelling across the region and globe becomes calmer and easy with hassle-free border formalities and less of conflicts which are created due to regional crisis, lack of safety and social injustice. Right cultural understanding through travel for tourism and not for migration purposes can reduce national and international conflicts. Global tourism is not only the world’s biggest business, but the world’s biggest business for peace. It forces people to understand each other, to see another point of view other their own, to see their differences and to see their sameness (Malley, 2002). Thailand’s visa exemption to selected 64 countries and bilateral agreements between countries is a good indication of the catalytic effect of tourism; which is the primary economic contributor in Thailand’s GDP. It is noted that Bangkok ranks in the top 20 most visited cities in the world (Hedrick-Wong, & Choong, 2014). Strengthening of trust in the travel business is an important criterion to have peace and sustainable tourism worldwide. According to Yin and Zhao (2006), a lot of businesses are emerging from the fact that people know each other. With the strengthening of trust, the competitive level of Regional Tourism Alliance (RTAs) could be greatly improved.

According to Litvin (1988), tourism is undoubtedly a beneficiary of peace, but as tourism is never successful in the absence of peace, it cannot, therefore, be a generator of peace. This relationship between tourism and peace is always debated. Research on the contributions of tourism towards peacebuilding is no longer a nascent concept. Several studies by individuals and associations have been conducted since the 19th century; however, most are either hypothetically based and lack precision. There were many professional meetings, forums held worldwide under the theme of “tourism and peace”, to discuss the catalytic effects of tourism and resolve regional issues. Some of the prominent meetings, conferences with highlighting declarations are recorded below.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Peacemakers: Leaders, humanitarian, activists, organisation and individuals working to eliminate social injustice and conflicts, conservation of human rights and ecosystem for the attainment of peace and sustainability of the society.

International and National Conflicts: Indifferences and misunderstandings due to social injustice, resources crisis, political unrest leading to militarisation and societal safety and security concerns.

Cross-Border Tourism: Provision of hassle-free movement of people in conflict-affected regions to create deeper understanding and relationship-building.

Global Peace Index: An indicator to measure the state of the peacefulness of assessed countries in the domains of the degree of militarisation, level of societal safety and security, and extent of ongoing domestic and international conflicts.

International Openness/Open Tourism: The state of free travel to nations due to the provisions of high safety and security, hassle-free visa and border regulations to travellers.

Peace Parks: Parks curated as a symbolism of endurance of peace and sustainability of culture and ecosystem.

Militarisation: It is the indicator of military expenditures on the number of armed forces per 1, 00,000 citizens, export and import of nuclear and heavy weapons, overall a process of readiness for war and conflicts.

Deteriorations: The state of a nation having a low level of global peacefulness due to high militarisation, less of societal safety and security and more of ongoing conflicts.

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