The Relationship between Peace and Tourism
Such an experience in the contemporary times have grown and developed in such way that the world’s nations and governments have reached the belief that human rights and peace ae necessary for each other, in a way that lasting and genuine peace cannot be accomplished without observing human rights, and without peace it cannot be expected that human rights are fully observed and respected.
Furthermore, in today’s world the right to peace has been deemed as one of the highlighted rights of the Third Generation of Human Rights, and the right to peace is deemed as one of the fundamental rights of Mankind, in a way that the practical realisation of human rights is linked to its existence. In other words, the right to peace forms another fundament of human rights.
Tourism is a universal phenomenon which is made up of several dimensions with deep and amazing effects which different nations around the world, have directly been faced with through welcoming travellers and tourists from all corners of the world, and pursue suitable solutions for its improvement and promotion. Tourism is a suitable tool which can be utilised to bring cultures closer together and benefit from it by teaching peoples on other cultures and environments.
Tourism has a powerful potential on relations between different nations, one of the most important ones of which can be the establishment or expansion of peace across the world. The tourism industry can be seen as a valuable tool in public diplomacy and international development. Also this important phenomenon can be considered as a powerful answer to global challenges, insecurity and terrorism. In fact with a deep and overall look at the tourism industry, interesting and notable conclusions have been reached the most important one of which is the establishment of peace in the world; in a way that some legal experts and tourism industry researchers believe that not only peace can be considered as one of the effects of tourism, but this industry is one of the suitable methods to spread peace among different nations of the world.
The Status of Tourism Based on Peace
In 2017, the UN General Assembly approved naming the year, the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. With the approval of this Resolution (4 December 2015) the importance and the role of international tourism has been raised and this naming officially recognises the deep understanding of nations of each other, further recognition of the rich heritage of various civilisations, observation of inherent values of different cultures and as a result their participation in the strengthening of global peace.
With the naming of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development World Tourism Organization Secretary General deemed, it a unique opportunity to further help tourism to realise the concept of sustainability (from three economic, social and environmental aspects, which raises public awareness of the functions of tourism industry whose real value is often underestimated.
The naming of 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development is an important moment in history, because recently (September 2015), the international community the 2030 Guidelines and the MDG which have been ratified by the UN General Assembly, the international community has chosen it as its movement guidelines. Also in the Sustainable Development Conference which presented global solutions for the environment and natural resources with the overall aim of achieving sustainable development through protection of vital (living) resources, and was seriously noted by thinkers and philosophers, it was stressed that there can be no hope to realise peace and human rights without sustainable development. On condition of its correct design and management, tourism can realise sustainable development, create jobs and business.
Tourism has been noted in three of the MDG goals:
The MDG regarding to the promotion of continued economic, universal and sustainable growth, full and profitable employment, and suitable occupation for all,
The sustainable production and consumption goal and sustainable protection and use of oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
A Brief Look at Iran’s Tourist Attractions
According to the World Tourism Organization, Iran is in fifth place for having natural attractions and tenth for having cultural-historic attractions. The UNESCO world heritage list has 21 Iranian sites that have been registered. This includes 20 cultural heritages, and one natural heritage and according to the indicators of the latest “compatibility of travel and tourism” report, out of 141 countries, in 2015 Iran was in 97th place. Among the pillars of Iran, the best performance belongs to the price compatibility pillar (1st place) and the weakest performance is prioritization of travel and tourism (130th place) and also then the pillar of the business environment and the tourism services infrastructure (both in 119th place).
Due to historic background and social and cultural dynamicity, Iran has diverse sightseeing sites, which can satisfy the curiosity of tourists and world travellers and draw their appreciation. Each traveller who travels to Iran with whatever intention can according to their aims, enthusiasm and itinerary see their chosen sightseeing sites.
Historic relics left from various periods of the existence of humans in the Iranian prairies are parallel to the diverse natural coastal, mountainous, and desert views in a coordinated combination with historic structures and religious and cultural heritages, create a collective of various urges to visit Iran. The ancient Iranian culture the examples of which are eternalised in the historic architectural monuments, bring about a lot of sites to be seen.
Iran’s culture today is a complete collection of cultures from distance and near past of this land and any person with any of their own taste and culture, fulfil the feeling of curiosity and beauty from visiting this vast and fruitful country. The historic relics in Persepolis, Pasargad, Shoosh, Hamadan, Firouzabad, Kermanshah, Seeraf and many others from the ancient Iranian civilisation centres, present enough attractions for people to visit this ancient country.
The natural environment covers more than 2800 kilometres of coastlines and also tall mountain ranges of Alburz and Zagros, and have potentials for rest and recreation. The Mazandaran Province coast in the north, and the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea coastlines have many potentials for summer and winter rest and recreation. The Persian Gulf islands such as Kish, Gheshm and Hurmuz with natural and carved coastlines and sunshine are even pleasant in the winter months for rest and recreation destinations.
The Challenges Facing Tourism in Iran
Although the development and growth of tourism and travel is unavoidable for further use of their numerous advantages, but there are numerous difficulties in the way of the development of this industry at two domestic and international levels must not be forgotten. At the international level the existence of unpleasant propaganda environments that hurt the image of Iran and the isolation of Iran at the international level, and efforts for improving the international prestige of Iran are some of the main problems.
The growth of the Iranophobia industry and presentation of an unstable image are some of the biggest obstacles and challenges in front of Iran for drawing tourists. Against this and in the last few years, the determination and seriousness of the Iranian people and the government on the basis of constructive interaction with the world, has resulted in increase in demand and impetus to travel to Iran.
The Iranian nuclear agreement was followed by many achievements in the tourism sector, that include increase in the number of foreign tourists, development of sustainable employment in this sector and reduction in reliance to oil revenues and bringing in foreign investment into the country for participation in various tourism projects.
Due to geographic diversity and their economic, social cultural conditions, different countries have different and diverse attractions in tourism, where the realisation of tourism growth based on peace can play an effective role in the event and sustainable development of countries. Also the boosting of tourism relations between countries can as well as the aforementioned benefits, also play an effective and constructive role in the strengthening of relations and strengthening of social and cultural links between different countries of the international community as one of the main pillars of peace.
Today, with the use of cultural tools, countries try to identify their culture and find common values between countries to reach common discourse. The tourism industry is one of the cultural tools for introducing a country at the international level which can be used to reach lasting peace and security and promote human rights. This industry has been seriously noted by Iranians and in the future it is expected to have an increased momentum.
By: Benyamin Sadeghi