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Tourism should be supported by peace industry

TRI collaborative efforts are a global model of peace through tourism

Agha Iqrar Haroon, Former Consultant, Ministry of Tourism, Government of Pakistan  Nov 24, 2011

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan - "Strong tourism networking and direct contact among practitioners of [the] tourism industry is the only way to develop broad-based industry in South Asia, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe," said Louis D'Amore.

"Governments should provide direct financial support to those who are following [a] path of sustainable tourism instead of harming nature by adopting mass and uncontrolled tourism in fragile environments of Central Asia."

This was observed in a tourism conference held by The Region Initiative (TRI) on November 22 at Tashkent Uzbekistan. The conference was followed by a TRI member meeting on November 23 and a visit of delegates to a remote community-based tourism project near Samarkand. TRI partners from Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Pakistan took part in the conference.

The declaration of the TRI Tashkent meeting stressed upon governments to provide financial support of small stakeholders for creating balance, otherwise it would become difficult for small stakeholders to get their share of tourism revenue and difficult for those who are trying to following the path of sustainable tourism.

The declaration also maintained that tourism was one of the most effective tools for peace through tourism and should be considered not only a revenue provider but harmony and peace generator, and, therefore, be supported by United Nations bodies as a peace industry.

It was decided that all countries will work together to brand and market one common cultural tour package for the revival of the historic and traditional route of Great Silk Road. An exchange of knowledge and expertise for the development of ecotourism in Central Asia was also signed during the TRI Partners meeting.

The TRI Tashkent meeting was concluded with a special message from IIPT Founder and President Louis D'Amore for TRI's 2-day meeting in Tashkent. The meeting was concluded with this following message from Mr. D'Amore:

"May I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all delegates in this historic conference, bringing together delegates from South Asia, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe through The Region Initiative (TRI).

"Your regions of the world include some of the first human settlements in history and are particularly noteworthy for establishing great trade routes more than 2,000 years ago that pioneered the linking of cultures and peoples through trade and commerce.

"Each of your regions and countries are now continuing to share your rich cultures, traditions, heritage, and welcoming spirit with increasing numbers of visitors from areas throughout the world - and through your collaborative efforts, providing us with an excellent global model of 'Peace through Tourism.'

"I would also like to acknowledge the untiring efforts of Agha Iqrar Haroon in developing The Region Initiative, and together with Max Haberstroh, and Mr. RavshanHead of TRI in Central Asia from Silk Road Destinations their historic achievement in the organization of this important conference. My best wishes to each of you for continued collaboration towards realizing the ideas, goals, and projects that you have discussed here these past few days."

TRI collaborative efforts are a global model of peace through tourism
Photo from Agha Iqrar Haroon

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