Tourism for Peace: Critical reflections
The peace-through-tourism discourse has been appropriated mainly by politicians and the industry to advance their own particular interests and has been viewed as a panacea to solve the entrenched socio- economic problems faced by nations globally today. The counter argument is put forward by those analysts who draw our attention to the perceived ‘evils’ of westernisation and modernisation brought about by globalisation where tourism is one of its principal components. As the paper argues questions of whether and how tourism as a whole contributes to world peace is more complex and problematic. Following a brief exploration of the concept of ‘peace’, this paper examines the tenuous relationship between ‘tourism’ and ‘peace’. In so doing, it considers the theoretical arguments of diverse thinkers and assesses the strengths and weaknesses of their various positions. The paper goes on to present a fresh conceptual framework for understanding the role of tourism in building a culture of peace. It should be noted that the interpretation offered in this paper has been influenced by the authors’ biographies, cultural reflections, and experiences. The paper concludes that not only complexities of tourism and international relations are often ignored in textual representations but the proposition that tourism fosters peace and tolerance appears to have been rather exaggerated.
Keywords: Peace, globalisation, fundamentalism, terrorism, Neo-colonialism, SDGs, COVID-19.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Dr Vaso Avgeli
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