Dr. Taleb Rifai Keynote Speaker at IIPT World Symposium

STOWE, Vermont – IIPT Founder and President Louis D’Amore announced today that Dr.

Dr. Taleb Rifai Keynote Speaker at IIPT World Symposium

STOWE, Vermont – IIPT Founder and President Louis D’Amore announced today that Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), will be a keynote speaker at the IIPT World Symposium: Cultivating Sustainable and Peaceful Communities and Nations Through Tourism, Culture and Sports, to be held February 15-20, 2015, in the Metropolitan Municipality of Ekurhuleni, Gauteng Province, South Africa.

The IIPT World Symposium will honor the legacies of the world’s three champions of Non-Violent Resistance: Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. and will also commemorate the:

– 50th anniversary of the African Union,
– 20 years of South African Democracy, and
– 50th anniversary of Civil Rights Legislation in the United States.

Louis D’Amore said, “We are most honored that Dr. Rifai has agreed to join us as a keynote speaker. His participation emphasizes the importance that the UNWTO has placed on “Building a Culture of Peace through Tourism, Culture and Sports” and continues the long standing support of UNWTO for IIPT international conferences and summits since the IIPT First Global Conference: Tourism – A Vital Force for Peace, Vancouver 1988.”

UNWTO will again be a partner in the Symposium. Host Partners include: South Africa Tourism, Gauteng Tourism, South African Airways and the Metropolitan Municipalities of Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg. Additional Symposium Partners and Host Partners will be announced in the days ahead.

Mr. D’Amore said, “IIPT is also honored and proud to announce that the Symposium has been endorsed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.”

IIPT’s intent is to harness the Symposium and legacies of Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. to build bridges of tourism, friendship and peace between South Africa, India and the United States – and other regions of the world.”

The Symposium will have two basic aims: to identify strategies and best practice in cultivating productive, sustainable, peaceful and welcoming communities through tourism, culture and sports; and to determine lessons learned from countries that have experienced conflict and the potential roles of tourism, culture and sports in reconciliation and socio-economic re-development.

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Design of the Symposium will be highly interactive with international experts in community development, community tourism, sports, culture and peace engaging with delegates in the exchange of experiences and ideas; and Ministers of Tourism from countries that have experienced conflict sharing their insights and suggestions related to strategies for reconciliation and healing wounds of conflict and best practices in harnessing tourism, culture and sports in the re-development process.

In addition to Ministers of Tourism from Africa, selected Ministers from countries of Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East that have experienced conflict will also be invited to participate in inter-active plenary session panels.

As with past IIPT Conferences and Summits, Pre-Symposium Events will include a full day Educators Forum and full day Student/Youth Leadership Forum. As well, following the precedent of IIPT’s Fifth African Conference in Lusaka, Zambia, a full day Traditional Leaders Forum is also planned.

The World Symposium, which builds on six previous IIPT global conferences/summits and some 15 international conferences will be held at Emperors Palace adjacent to O.R. Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg in the Metropolitan Municipality of Ekurhuleni.

We look forward to your participation with us, February 15-20, Emperors Palace, Erkuhuleni, South Africa.

IIPT is dedicated to fostering and facilitating tourism initiatives that contribute to international understanding and cooperation, an improved quality of environment, the preservation of heritage, poverty reduction, and the resolution of conflict – and through these initiatives, help bring about a more peaceful and sustainable world. IIPT is dedicated to mobilizing travel and tourism, the world’s largest industry, as the world’s first “Global Peace Industry,” an industry that promotes and supports the belief that “Every traveler is potentially an Ambassador for Peace.”

For more information, go to: www.iipt.org

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