Tourism transforms your hearts and minds

OPEN YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS – UNWTO SECRETARY GENERAL DR. TALEB RIFAI AT THE OPENING OF ITB 2017

(Posted 08th March 2017)

Tourism can transform our world and build better understanding in a world living a deficit of tolerance said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, at the opening ceremony of the 2017 edition of ITB Berlin earlier today.

We live in the worst of times and the best of times. Times when we wake up every other day with the threat of terrorism at our doorstep and the glooming numbers of unemployment. Times of isolationism and ill-conceived actions like travel bans, which do not lead to increased security but just to growing tension. Despite all these complex and interlinked challenges, despite acts against the freedom of travel, the power of tourism continues to shine through the darkness‘ said Dr. Rifai.

Quoting the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, he also said, ‘Beyond the measurable advances that tourism can make possible, it is also a bridge to better mutual understanding among people from all walks of life‘.

In this context, Dr. Rifai recalled that the declaration of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by the United Nations is a clear recognition of the potential contribution of tourism to social progress, equality and prosperity and peace and that tourism must be at the forefront of the 2020 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In a world that seems increasingly short of tolerance and generosity, we should cherish tourism as a precious pillar of peace amongst communities and nations. We all need to ensure that, as our sector grows, it contributes to the wellbeing of the world and not to its peril. Tourism must fulfil its responsibility to contribute to all 17 universal Sustainable Development Goals‘ he added in closing.

Additional information:

Calendar of UNWTO events at ITB 2017

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: