The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and MEJDI Tours present….
Tourism: A Tool for Peace and Intercultural Understanding
Featuring the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary General Taleb Rifai
Every person and every place are unique in their culture, and this uniqueness is one of the driving forces behind the global increase in tourism. In 2012, 1 billion tourists are expected to travel the world; that number has been consistently growing over the years and is forecasted continue increasing. As a result, tourism—a major socioeconomic activity of our times—provides livelihoods and creates jobs for millions of people in communities around the world.
Among the many motivations for travelling, experiencing different ways of life, visiting cultural sites, and discovering new food and customs rank high on traveller’s list. With millions of people travelling across the world each year, never before have so many people been to so many places, nor have they been exposed to this many other cultures. This interaction between individuals and their host communities, each group with their own diverse culture, can contribute in incredible ways to tolerance, respect and mutual understanding—the building blocks for a more peaceful world.
We invite you to explore this budding concept through the experience and insight of tourism practitioners and conflict resolution professionals. Join us for a unique dialogue with Mr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization, a Specialized Agency of the United Nations; followed by a panel discussion on the topic with Secretary-General Taleb Rifai; David Schmidgall, pastor at the National Community Church; and Rabbi-Dr. Marc Gopin of MEJDI Tours moderated by National Geographic Emerging Explorer Aziz Abu Sarah.
Questions and networking reception to follow.
Location: National Geographic Society Hubbard Hall
1145 17th Street N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
Time: Friday, April 6, 3 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
RSVP by April 3, 2012 to email@example.com. Space is very limited.
MEJDI and UNWTO are collaborating in the frame of the Intercultural Innovation Award, a partnership between the UNAOC and the BMW Group. MEJDI Tours was awarded first-place in the 2011 awards.
About The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide. UNWTO’s membership includes 155 countries, seven territories and over 400 Affiliate Members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourism authorities.
About the Intercultural Innovation Award
A partnership between the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the BMW Group, the Intercultural Innovation Award selects and supports the most innovative grassroots projects that encourage intercultural dialogue and cooperation around the world. The UNAOC and the BMW Group help winners of the Award to become more efficient and to expand, as well as enable their transfer to other contexts or settings where they might be relevant.
About MEJDI Tours
MEJDI Tours is a joint Jewish-Arab tour operator that creates custom group tours to Israel, Palestine, Turkey, Jordan, and Egypt. Known for its commitment to a dual-narrative and inclusive approach to tourism in conflict zones, MEJDI has successfully crafted many perspective-altering tours to the Middle East. Guided by a mission to provide responsible tour experiences and invest in the communities where we work, we provide clients with access to people and places that traditional tour companies cannot reach. As a result of this unique business model, our clients get to hear different perspectives, participate in new cultural experiences, and go behind closed doors to meet local religious, political, and tribal leaders.