A joint meeting of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) Board of Directors and IIPT International Advisory Board was recently held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City to discuss future plans for IIPT.
Taking part in the meeting (from left to right in the photo) were Timothy Marshall, Chairman, IIPT Board of Directors, and President, Jamaica Business Resource Center (JBRC); Nina Meyer, President and Chairman of the Board, American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA); Louis D’Amore, IIPT Founder and President; Markly Wilson, Director of International Tourism Marketing, State of New York; Senator Akel Biltaji, Royal Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Alex Harris, Founder and Chairman, General Tours; Michael Stolowitzky, Marketing Executive, American Express Vacations; and Dr. Noel Brown, Chairman, IIPT International Advisory Board and President, Friends of the United Nations.
Focus of the luncheon meeting was planning for the commemoration of IIPT’s 25th anniversary of its First Global Conference: Tourism – A Vital Force for Peace, Vancouver 1988 to take place in 2013. The 1988 First Global Conference was a major milestone in travel and tourism with 800 delegates from 67 countries representing each region of the world.
The IIPT Vancouver conference introduced a “Higher Purpose” of tourism, including the key role of tourism in:
- promoting international understanding,
- collaboration among nations,
- protecting the environment and preserving biodiversity,
- enhancing cultures and valuing heritage,
- sustainable development,
- poverty reduction, and
- reconciliation and healing wounds of conflict.
The Cconference was particularly noteworthy for first introducing the concept of sustainable tourism development - four years prior to the UN Rio Earth Summit 1992. IIPT went on to further develop the world’s first Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Sustainable Tourism Development in 1993 for the Canadian tourism industry - a year following the Rio Summit, followed by the first international study of models of best practice in tourism and environment for UNEP.
IIPT Founder and President Louis D’Amore expressed, “Our sincere appreciation to Senator Akel Biltaji for hosting the luncheon meeting,” recalling that as Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, HE Biltaji hosted the First IIPT Global Summit in Amman, Jordan, November 2000. The first IIPT Global Summit resulted in the Amman Declaration, which has been adopted as an official document of the United Nations – and the launch of IIPT’s Global Peace Park Program with the dedication of a Peace Park at Bethany Beyond the Jordan – Baptismal Site of Christ - on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the first year of the new Millennium.
IIPT International Advisory Board Chairman, Dr. Noel Brown, paid tribute to Alex Harris, Founder of General Tours in 1947 – one of America’s first tour companies – saying: “Alex Harris is internationally recognized as one of the Deans of travel and tourism, and a pioneer in developing overseas destinations for Americans. His guiding philosophy in founding General Tours originated at the Geneva Peace Conference following the Second World War with a mission to build bridges of understanding between North America and Eastern Europe.”
IIPT Board of Directors Chairman Timothy Marshal stated, “IIPT appreciates the strong relationship we have had with ASTA over the past ten years and that we look forward to an even stronger win-win partnership with Nina Meyer and ASTA as we move forward in the years ahead.”
Further plans for IIPT’s 25th anniversary year will be unveiled in the months ahead.