Prospects of Tourism for Peace: Is Tourism Part of the Problem or the Solution?

Prospects of Tourism for Peace: Is Tourism Part of the Problem or the Solution?

Maximiliano E. Korstanje (University of Palermo, Argentina)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5053-3.ch002
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Abstract

Over the years, philosophers have debated the problem of war and peace. Is violence inherently enrooted in our minds? Or simply are we educated in a violent society? Is war a social malady to be eradicated or part of our nature? The myth of Cain and Abel gives some hints on this, but, of course, it does not suffice to explain the complexity of the conflict in the societal order. Humans often are slaves of negative emotions such as rage, fear, greed, and envy. Nonetheless, as Immanuel Kant imagined, a durable and perpetual peace can be internationally achieved, where a tacit agreement is convened among nations. In so doing, they should share a common-grounded constitution and be subject to the law of federation. The figure of hospitality is vital to weave an international pact of cooperation and non-aggression. Here one might question if tourism is part of this panacea, as Kant in his days envisaged.
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Introduction

Over the years, philosophers debated the problem of war and peace. Is violence inherently enrooted in our mind, or are we simply educated in a violent society? Is war a social malady to be eradicated or part of our nature?

Some scholars have agreed that hospitality and peace are inextricably intertwined. One of the pioneering philosophers in focusing on the role of hospitality as an instrument of understanding was Immanuel Kant, who in his days, imagined, a durable and perpetual peace can be internationally achieved whether a tacit agreement is convened among nations. In so doing, they should share a common-grounded constitution and be subject to the law of federation. The figure of hospitality is vital to weave an international pact of cooperation and no-aggression (Kant, 2015). Here one might question, is tourism part of this panacea that Kant envisaged in his days?

The dominant discourse within the constellations of tourism research punctuates that the tourism industry emerged in the days after the industrial revolution because of the combination of multiple and complex factors. The political and economic stability not only ensured the acceleration of technological breakthrough but also laid the foundations for the rise and expansion of tourism. In this context, peace was the precondition for the well-functioning of the tourist system (Moufakkir & Kelly, 2010; Sharpley, 2018). Not only peace but also democracy played a leading role in the configuration and consolidation of the tourism industry worldwide (Sandell, 2005; Burns & Novelli, 2007). It is safe to say, at least for these theorists, that undemocratic governments face serious limitations and challenges to promote tourism simply because the necessary economic conditions, which are inherited in the global capitalism, are not given. In this vein, tourism, democracy and capitalism seem to be inevitably entwined. Sasha Pack in a seminal book not only contradicted this thesis but explained clearly how undemocratic governments such Franco’s Spain or Nazi Germany have successfully developed the tourism industry to boost the domestic consumption. Centred on the case of Spain, Pack holds the thesis that tourism has historically and successfully flourished in undemocratic conditions or post-conflict destinations. Pack does not deny that tourism needs stable and peaceful conditions, but her well-documented case shows clearly how tourism can be assertively promoted by bloody dictatorships. This moot point begs some pungent questions such as is tourism an efficient instrument to promote peace?. What is the evidence that sustains this thesis? Is tourism part of the problem or the solution to placate violence?

The present chapter pursues four main goals. Firstly it interrogates on the nature of peace in its connection in what Elias dubbed as a civilizatory process. In a second stage, the section reviews publications, where some voices have recently alerted on the complex nature of tourism which under some conditions far from promoting peace, accelerates a process of rivalry and conflict. In third, the specialised literature that discusses post-conflict destinations, as well as the needs of stimulating a dark consumption is widely assessed in the sections of this chapter. Last but not least, some remarks are posed revolving around the agenda for the years to come. This section aims at answering to what extent tourism will be work as a mechanism towards peace or conflict.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Peace: It is conceptually associated with a state of friendship and harmony where hostility is placated.

Tourism: It consists in the act of travelling away from home less than six months and more than 24 hours. Today it is one of the largest and prosperous industries in the world.

Prosperity: It means with good fortune or flourishing of a person, nation or group in view of wealth or social status.

Post-Conflict Destination: It is a new sub-discipline of tourism research which studies in what ways, destinations are recycled, commercialised and sold just after an episode of violence or after years of war.

Dark Consumption: It is understood to the fascination for visiting spaces of mass death, war, pain, suffering or genocide. The term often associates to dark-tourism or Thana-tourism.

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