Tourism : A Tool For Peace & Dialogue Among Civilizations

Every year on 27th September we celebrate the world Tourism Day. This year we and the world are doing so. Every year the Madrid based World Tourism Organization gives a slogan to different countries as theme. This year it is tourism as a tool for peace and dialogue among civilization.

Let us think over this subject and urge all countries to initiate the march of the entire world on the noble path of world peace.

Man is just man, whether from Japan, Honolulu, Africa or the Indian sub-continent. Man every where has the same sensibility, emotions, flaws and qualities. He is a member of earth and, therefore, equally responsible for its betterment or fall.

Along with growth of civilization we shared our happiness and sorrows, inventions and accomplishments. Human instinct of curiosity and search unravelled the deep mysteries of the universe is benefiting everyone. But simultaneously came our fall in many respects. In rivalry of monopoly from countries came the destructive nuclear weapon. The terrible memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are not forgotten. The blot on humanity cannot be removed easily. Whether conflict in Iran, Iraq, Philistine, India, Pakistan, Taliban’s destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha image – they all put us in dark. After all what do we want to achieve? Is there any end to mutual animosity and hate?The Attack on America by terrorists  in September 2001 and the killing of thousands of innocent people, suicide groups killing in Kashmir etc. are issues that remain unanswered . We have to find the answer.

And the answer is tourism. Discoveries by of Vasco De Gama and Columbus opened new gates of peace and dialogue. Surely tourism cuts down distance among peoples and make significant contribution to world peace. The bitterness between India and Pakistan can only be removed by free travel of peoples of the two countries. From time to time our leaders have taken initiative like the Lahore journey and Musharraf’s visit to India with his wife. The whole world looked keenly at the Agra summit whether as dialogue through tourism or vice-versa. The city of love Agra is chosen as venue. Whatever the outcome, indirectly the credit to this path of peace goes to tourism.

Tourism can be seen as a link of commercial and cultural exchange between two countries. When a tourist visits countries for study of the culture and sees monuments and remains he is influenced by the culture of the country. He goes back with objects purchased there and thus begins trade relationships. That naturally brings the peoples together. This closeness brings friendship and them comes dialogue between two nations. And this results in dialogue peace, and goodwill. Peace opens the gates of development and helps prosperity of nations.

Perhaps tourism is the only means today to bring amity to the warring countries of Central Asia; an opportunity to understand each other and bring peace.

Taken seriously tourism can play a vital role in bringing peace. Studies show that people want peace with neighbours and exchange of ideas. No nation wants to be confined to her boundaries. The broken remains of the Berlin wall grace drawing rooms of German people. Every German would be proud of unification of his country. They must be feeling contented pulling down the dividing wall and presenting an example before the world. They wouldn’t feel any hesitation in calling themselves superior.

Today man wants to see and know the world. He wants to find a place in people’s heart through the means of tourism. Today people of many countries have a special feeling and regard for India. This could only be possible through tourism. The unique India with her cuisine, colorful dress, monuments and palaces, hospitality, diversity etc.

Ancient civilizations of Egypt and China take the tourist to antiquity through pyramids and the Great wall. Bhutan and Tibet with ancient culture attract our mind.

Many buildings have been declared world heritage to be taken care of by the whole world so they remain intact for posterity. Tourism has increased peoples awareness for maintaining historical, cultural, and artistic heritage.

Undoubtedly tourism has emerged as a means of world peace and dialogue.
Let us carry the message of tourism to the masses. Be it national unity or vision of world state, tourism has a vital role to play. Some one has rightly said,

“What gained confined, found the world coming out.”